Trying to Stay True to the Rules of Being a Fan

One of the many unwritten laws of being a sports fan is that when your team wins a championship you aren’t allowed to complain about the given teams success (or lack of) for the next five years. Well this rule -like many of the other- is hard to follow, and is often broken. Some people even go as far to say that it’s ten years, but that just seems flat out impossible to me. Bryan as a Rams fan being a prime example. What shouldn’t be as hard to do is not complain about your teams lack of success, when by “lack of success” you mean not winning another championship. Unfortunately for me, that’s exactly what I’m struggling with. My team (the Colts) didn’t fall off like the Bucs, who won the Super Bowl after the 2002 season and hasn’t won a playoff game since; we didn’t slowly crumble into oblivion like the Rams (sorry, Bryan) who won the Super Bowl after the 1999 season and then three years later had a sub-.500 season and has failed to rebound; heck we didn’t even do what the Steelers did last year, failing to make the playoffs the year after winning the Super Bowl. Continue reading

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts

This is the ninth installment of my 11-part series, previewing each and every NFL playoff game this year. To read any of the other eight click on the appropriate link below:

Jets at Chargers

Cowboys at Vikings

Ravens at Colts

Cardinals at Saints

Packers at Cardinals

Ravens at patriots

Eagles at Cowboys

Jets at Bengals

The Jets need to play their absolute best football to win this game. Unfortunately for the Colts, that’s exactly what the Jets have been doing lately and on top of that the Jets seem to have luck on their side as well. For the Colts this will be a very similar game to last week, with one difference. The Ravens had a defense that excelled at stopping the run, and the Jets are a team that excels at stopping the pass but both are great overall defenses. The Jets and Ravens are essentially the exact same team offensively. Run first, pass minimally, young quarterback, one successful young running back and an effective veteran running back as well as a good full back. So if the Colts defense can have a similar performance to the one they put on last week the Jets will have a tough time scoring, therefore a tough time winning. Continue reading

Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts

This is number six of 11 for my NFL playoffs preview series. To view the other click the one you would like to read below:

Cardinals at Saints

Packers at Cardinals

Ravens at patriots

Eagles at Cowboys

Jets at Bengals

Oh goodness. This is a chess match and I’d be lying if I said this game doesn’t have me nervous as a Colts fan, but I’m still very confident. The Ravens have never won in Indianapolis. Ever. This is a rivalry though. The entire city of Baltimore hates the Colts, Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis have an immense amount of respect for each other, and Reggie Wayne and Ed Reed are best friends and consider one another a brother. There are tons of story lines that go along with this game but when it comes down to it only one thing matters: who plays better on the field. That is why we’re going to put all of those other things aside and focus on solely what will be taking place on the gridiron tomorrow. Continue reading

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints

This is the fifth installment of my 11-part playoff preview series. To read the others click on the appropriate one below:

Packers at Cardinals

Ravens at patriots

Eagles at Cowboys

Jets at Bengals

Let me first start by saying that Saturday will be a great day to watch great quarterbacks play at a high level. Peyton Manning in the late game and Drew Brees squares off against Kurt Warner in the earlier game but the Cardinals have had a short week. They played the late Sunday game last weekend and they play the early Saturday game this weekend. I don’t think it will really have much of an impact on the game, but you never know. The real question here is can lighting strike the same place twice? The place being represented by the Arizona Cardinals and the lightning being represented by an unlikely playoff run. Bad analogy? Fine, but you get the idea. This is gonna be a high-powered, high-flyin’, high-energy game that you like to see in the playoffs. Both teams are pass-happy, and score a lot of points. The Cardinals beat the Packers in this very type of game last week. Again, can lightning strike twice? Continue reading

What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

This post will be similar to all of the other posts I have done on this very topic. The only difference for this one is that I will have four categories (AI, COD, HAC, AO) instead of six. But I will still be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now. Continue reading

What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

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THIS POST IS OUT OF DATE! CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION!

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This post will be similar to the posts I did last week. I will be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now.

In the AFC the seeding would be as follows: 1. Indianapolis Colts, 2. San Diego Charger, 3. New England Patriots , 4. Cincinnati Bengals, 5. Baltimore Ravens, 6. Denver Broncos… so the Bengals and Pats flipped and the Ravens jumped both the Jags and the Broncos, knocking the Broncos down to the 6 seed and the Jags out all together.

In the NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints, 2. Minnesota Vikings, 3. Philadelphia Eagles, 4. Arizona Cardinals, 5. Green Bay Packers, 6. Dallas Cowboys. Absolutely nothing has changed here.

However, six of the 12 teams I just listed are still in danger of not making the playoffs at all. To determine how much danger they are in and what the other teams in the league need to do and have happen from them to replace one of those teams I will be using the NFL’s official tie-breaking procedures to see who needs to win which games to reach the postseason.  I will be grouping the teams into six categories (AI, COD, HAC, CFH, MML, AO) you’ll see what it all stands for below) to separate them by mathematical probability of making it to the playoffs. Here are the categories: Continue reading

What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

**********************************************************************************

THIS POST IS OUT OF DATE! CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION!

**********************************************************************************

This post will be similar to the posts I did last year. I will be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now.

In the AFC the seeding would be as follows: 1. Indianapolis Colts, 2. San Diego Charger, 3. Cincinnati Bengals, 4. New England Patriots, 5. Denver Broncos, 6. Jacksonville Jaguars.

(NB: I was going to explain how the Jags still have the second wild-card spot but Paul Kuharsky -one of my favorite writers at ESPN.com- beat me to it, so I’ll just link you to that. To view it click here.)

In the NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints, 2. Minnesota Vikings, 3. Philadelphia Eagles, 4. Arizona Cardinals, 5. Green Bay Packers, 6. Dallas Cowboys.

However, nine of the 12 teams I just listed are still in danger of not making the playoffs at all. To determine how much danger they are in and what the other teams in the league need to do and have happen from them to replace one of those teams I will be using the NFL’s official tie-breaking procedures to see who needs to win which games to reach the postseason.  I will be grouping the teams into six categories (AI, COD, HAC, CFH, MML, AO – you’ll see what it all stands for below) to separate them by mathematical probability of making it to the playoffs. Here are the categories: Continue reading

Link Dump

Here are a group of links that are about things that I wanted to write about (but didn’t have time to or the person who wrote the other one did a better job than I would have) or were things I came across that I thought were interesting enough to share with all of the WaB readers. Continue reading

I’m a little confused

I’ve been hearing all week on ESPN and other sports media services that people should be looking for the Titans to upset my Colts this weekend. There have been a wide range of reasons given to support this claim from the Colts faltering in recent weeks to the Titans being a different team than the one the Colts faced earlier this season. It’s also been brought up that the switch from Kerry Collins to Vince Young at quarterback has turned this team around. And Young has improved so much, which is why their team has gone 5-0 since he’s taken over the starting role at quarterback.

I won’t deny any of those things: yes, the Colts have struggled in the past five games; yes, the Titans are going to give a significantly different look from what the Colts saw earlier this year; yes, it seems that the Titans have been hot since Young became the signal caller; yes, it appears that Young has improved immensely by observing and learning as a backup from the sidelines; and yes Chris Johnson is a stud.

Chris Johnson

Continue reading

NFL Preview: AFC South

For those of you that realize the first game of the 2009 NFL season is less than 48 hours away from kicking off you will probably be wondering how I expect to be able to finish the rest of these division previews. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a good question but I think I can pull it off. The game on Thursday is between the Titans and Steelers, so by doing the AFC South today and the AFC North tomorrow I’ll have those teams out of the way. On Thursday I will likely do two, those being the AFC East and the NFC North. On Friday I will again do two, the NFC South and the NFC East. Saturday brings UCLA to Knoxville to face my Volunteers and I highly doubt that I’ll be posting anything that day. So on Sunday morning and early afternoon I will churn out the NFC West, because all of the NFC West teams kickoff at 4:15 ET on Sunday. So if I actually manage to pull this off, that’s how it’s going to happen.

On to the AFC South. This is the division I know the most about because this is the division that contains my Colts but I’m going to try to keep this one shorter (yeah right) than my 1400-word AFC West post. The teams in the AFC South this year will be facing the AFC East and the NFC West. This should provide for some interesting matchups, the most intriguing of which is the always anticipated Colts vs cheaters patriots game, which takes place this year on November 15 in Indianapolis. Continue reading

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