Monday, December 10, 2007

More Monday Morning Quarterbacking

I think most football fans- other than the most arrogant Patriot supporters- have gone as far as to anoint the Patriots as the league's 19-0 champion. 16-0 may seem inevitable, but the playoffs are an entirely different story. Of course, I wonder if many of the same fans who criticize those who anoint the Patriots, are similarly certain that this years Championship Games will feature Green Bay at Dallas and Indianapolis at New England.

I'm just curious - does anyone really give another team in the league a legitimate of getting to the conference championship games? Remember, getting there is going to involve going through Indy, New England, Green Bay, or Dallas. Three times in the last four years, not just one, but two teams have been upset in the second round of the playoffs. In 2003/January 2004, the Panthers beat the Rams in double overtime, 29-23 and the Colts beat the Chiefs 38-31. In 2005/January 2006, the Steelers upset the Colts 21-18 and the Panthers got by the Bears 29-21. And finally, last year, the Colts beat the Ravens 15-6 and the Patriots beat the Chargers 24-21.

This year I think Pittsburgh and Seattle are teams that shouldn't be overlooked, but the top 4 really do look that much better than everyone else. Of the the top 4 teams 5 losses, 3 of those are amongst each other. The only losses outside the group were the Packers early season loss to the Bears and the Colts ugly game against the Chargers. An upset are too may be statistically likely to happen, but I certainly wouldn't want to put any money on it.

Maybe the question needs to be asked- Are these the top 4 teams the league has ever seen in a single year? Off the top of my head I'd have to say yes, but admittedly I haven't thought it out too hard. It's just a fascinating question, particularly because it removes much of the emotion of supporting or opposing one particular team.


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