Thursday, August 11, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
Who is cream of the crop?
Now that all of the eloquent speeches of acceptance have been made at the 2011 enshrinement ceremony and the honorees have had photo ops with their busts and the Tiger has picked up the clubs and begun stalking the links again, it dawned on me that yours truly has not picked a favorite team for the upcoming NFL season.
Heretofore, my premise has been hanging with a pick for three seasons to see if they were going to shine come playoff time. I sort of bent the spear of fate last season when I extended the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth season. As reported last week, some say that the Eagles have built a sure winner after the lockout was resolved. The quandary now is – should yours truly roll the dice again in favor of Philly?
Not given to hasty decisions of this magnitude, I did a little research (non-scientific, mind you), of who did what last season. We are not trying to give the Green Bay Packers a pre-season boost though they certainly deserve their perks for coming out of the Wild Card race and winning the Super Bowl. There were four other teams joining Green Bay at the 10-6 mark, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and the New York Giants.
There was only one team above the “middle of the road” mark, San Diego at 9-7. A pair of the teams were smack in the middle, namely, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders. In the case of the former, head coach Jack Del Rio managed to hold onto the reins; however, the hierarchy was upset and vowed to make changes if the Jags were left out of the playoffs after the 2011 season. The latter put a halt to their skein of seven straight losing seasons but it was not enough to save to salvage Tom Cable’s and he was replaced by his offensive coordinator (Hue Jackson).
And that brings us to the cream of the crop. The New England Patriots had the best record in the NFL at 14-2 which was also the AFC’s best record. Despite the pile of stats such as leading in scoring, most TD passes, best QB passing rating and fewest interceptions, the fan base was very unhappy because they lost the opening playoff game for the second straight year to the New York Jets. Other cream on top were the Atlanta Falcons (13-3), Pittsburgh and Baltimore (12-4) and a trio at 11-5 (N.Y. Jets, Chicago and New Orleans).
Falecia Reynolds, receptionist at the Bay Breeze Club on Keesler AFB in Biloxi, picks the Saints to come out of this group and return to the Super Bowl. Lofty prediction, indeed.
As a closing note, I couldn’t bring myself to watch, but I heard that the Tiger finished on Sunday at one over par. He entered the tournament still rated as number one.
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