I stopped giving a weekly update of the NFL a couple months ago. First of all, a weekly update took way too long for me to write. Secondly, there was so much flux from one week to the next, I couldn't thoughtfully tell you who I thought was good and who I thought was bad.
There are certain things that we knew at the beginning of week 16. We knew that the San Francisco 49ers were very good. They quite possibly may be the best team in the NFC, maybe the best team in football. They made a huge statement by flying across the country last week and beating the New England Patriots, in New England, in the cold rain.
Well, it is week 16 and we've learned a lot more about the NFL. Briefly, let me run it down to you like this. The Dallas Cowboys have played above my expectations. They lost today to the New Orleans Saints because their defense, in my opinion, was unable to make plays. Tony Romo is playing out of his mind. For the last six weeks, he has really been playing some outstanding football. Very few quarterbacks in the NFL have been playing as well as Tony Romo. The Washington Redskins, unlike the Dallas Cowboys, have been playing extremely well on both sides of the football. Robert Griffin, III is the real deal. He throws the football with touch and accuracy. He is one of the league's highest rating passers. The New York Giants, on the other hand, have been imploding. If you're a Dallas Cowboys fan, like I am, it's been beautiful to watch. Here's the deal. The New York Giants have a great defensive front four. They must dominate for the Giants to be able to cover up their relatively weak secondary. On offense, they have to be able to run the ball. Victor Cruz hasn't been making those great plays like he did last year. The combination, failure of their front four and their inability to run the football, has made them an extremely mediocre team.
The San Francisco 49ers just got waxed by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seattle Seahawks are telling everybody that they are one of the best teams in the NFL. In spite of all of the hype over this year's rookie quarterbacks, I am most impressed with Russell Wilson. He is extremely athletic. He's making fabulous decisions and not turning the ball over. I think that the Seattle Seahawks, the Washington Redskins, and perhaps the Green Bay Packers are the teams that are peaking in the NFC. Notice I didn't mention the Atlanta Falcons. I still don't know what to think of the Atlanta Falcons. Yes, I've seen them play some very good football. I am disturbed that they can't run the football as effectively as they did two or three years ago. I'm also a little uneasy with the defense of the Atlanta Falcons.
As a long time Dallas Cowboys fan, I love the fact that the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. I had to break out a smile when the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cincinnati Bengals today, ending the Steelers' playoff hopes. I do not think that the Indianapolis Colts are for real. I'm sorry. I haven't bought into the Andrew Luck hype machine. I don't think that he is all that and a bag of chips. Sorry. I do know that Tom Brady, once again, has the New England Patriots in position for a playoff run. Unfortunately, just like last year, New England has some issues on defense. Earlier this season, I was on the Houston Texan bandwagon. Unfortunately, they've had some key injuries on the defensive side of the ball and they haven't been able to fix that. The Texans are limping into the playoffs and I don't expect them to make it to the Super Bowl. On the other hand, the Denver Broncos are playing extremely well on both sides of the ball. I have no idea what to think about the Baltimore Ravens. I'm completely clueless. One week they look invincible. The next week, they are completely hapless.
So, the best team in the AFC is probably the Denver Broncos. I'm having a hard time picking the best team in the NFC. I guess, if I have to pick, I would go with the Seattle Seahawks, the Green Bay Packers and/or the San Francisco 49ers. (By the way, if Alex Smith was still the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, would they have gotten waxed tonight? I'm just asking! Because, with Alex Smith, the San Francisco 49ers ran the ball. They would've eaten up the clock. I'm not saying they would've won. I'm just saying it's hard to put up that kind of score against the team that is playing ball control football.)
I can't wait till next week.