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The Fourth Quarter: The NFL Edition

At this point in the season, we all know who these teams are. Sure, there will be plenty of times when we get a surprise, but it won’t be because we don’t know the identity of these players, coaches, and teams. It’s also when we come to the realization that there’s not much football left, so we make it a point to savor each week as much as possible.

The Undefeateds: Can someone explain to me how the Saints and Colts are still undefeated? Seriously, both of these teams are 13-0, yet I watch them, and I still don’t feel 100% confident in either of them making the Super Bowl. If San Diego matches up with Indianapolis, I’ll pick the Chargers to win. Shoot, that’s the one team that’s given the Colts problems in the last couple of post-seasons, and with the way the Chargers have been playing for the last two months, there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t beat Indy again. As for the Saints, there are times when they look totally unbeatable, and then there are times when they look extremely mortal. However, they continue to win, and that’s really all that matters. Thank God they have homefield, because I honestly feel they need it more than anyone else in the NFC.

To the Victor Goes the AFC East: I’ve watched the Pats, Jets, and the Dolphins this season (yes, the Bills are in the AFC East, but they don’t matter right now; sorry, Joslin), and it would be easy to go with the team with the most experience, which would be New England. However, I’m gonna go against the grain, and pick the Dolphins to pass them up, and win the division. They have three winnable games left, with two of them being at home, and they’re all against teams who are pretty much out of the playoff hunt. The Pats have an easy road too, but they have so much other stuff goin’ on right now that I don’t feel comfortable picking them. As for the Jets, they finish with the Falcons, Colts, and the Bengals, and it’s a realistic possibility that they could drop all three of them.

Charles Woodson for DPOY. Hell, Charles Woodson for King of the Universe: If The Heisman doesn’t win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year this year, I’ll boycott football. Okay, I’ll boycott pre-season football. There’s no way I can stop watching the real thing, but in all seriousness, this man continues to make play after play for the Packers, who continue to surge, and put themselves in position to host a first-round game at Lambeau Field. Ed thinks it should be Darren Sharper, and others have said Jared Allen, but my choice is The Heisman.

The Arizona Cardinals and the Super Bowl: I’ll give them much more credit than I gave them last year, when I pretty much said it would be a cold day in hell before the Arizona *bleeping* Cardinals made the Super Bowl in my lifetime. There’s the usual on offense, but they’ve gotten better defensively, and Bryant McFadden being there adds even more legitimacy to their secondary, which already wasn’t half-bad to begin with. Plus, they pretty much have the NFC West sewn up, unless they manage to go to hell in the next few weeks, which would allow my pre-season pick (the Niners) to win it. They are one of the two teams (the other being Philadelphia) in the NFC who I honestly feel don’t need home-field advantage to make it to the Super Bowl. Don’t ask me to explain why the others can’t do it; it’s a gut feeling more than anything.

Fall From Grace: I have to give it to the Pittsburgh Steelers. When I hear Mike Tomlin utter such memorable quotes as:

“We’re going to unleash hell in December,” and

“We didn’t make a play. We didn’t make A PLAY,”

I know things have gone terribly awry. How does this happen? How do the Steelers lose five games in a row? Do they miss Polamalu that much? Are they tuning the brother out? Maybe, they are going off of the words of The Great Philosopher Young Jeezy, and they simply have said “I need a va-caaaaation,” because a team this good and this proud shouldn’t be playing so pathetic.

-K. Masenda


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