Hope everyone had a good Turkey Day and is as stuffed as the feathered friends we feasted on last night. It was an interesting day of football to say the least. We saw two highly lopsided wins and one upset that may have changed the tide in the NFC North. So… what happened yesterday?
Yup. It’s back, folks. That time of year that completely monopolizes your everyday life as you sit and check the likes of Rotoworld and Bleacher Report on an hourly basis. Fantasy football season is abound!
I have already summonsed the Wayniac Nation Fantasy Football team, and next week will be our Second Annual Breakthroughs, Busts and Sleepers Special. I got excited sending out the email to the team, I hope you are excited to see what they have to say.
But that’s next week. Today, I have a question that needs to be answered. Is there a new era in fantasy football?
Finally! The moment we have all been waiting for is here. It’s the return of Wayniac Nation after a three week hiatus! Well, that and the NFL Playoffs are here, which I suppose is equally as exciting.
It was an unbelievable season in the NFL that came right down to the final play as heading into week 17 only the New England Patriots knew their fate. My poor, poor Texans barely missed out on the last playoff spot as Joe Flacco woke up in the fourth quarter and locked up the final playoff spot for the Ravens. While the Texans head home with a 9-7 record, I still think J.J. Watt should be the league’s Most Valuable Player and Bill O’Brien should get some votes for Coach of the Year, although Bruce Arians should walk away with the award.
So, what can we expect from the 2014 playoffs? As we have learned in the past by the performances of annoyingly, terrible teams (I’m looking at you Eli Manning and the New York Giants), it’s not always the best team that wins, but the hottest. This year, the best and the hottest may be the same team.
FIVE THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN THE NFL PLAYOFFS
Welcome to December, folks. December is a big month for sports geeks like you and I. This coming weekend kicks off the winter meetings in baseball. The NFL is heading down its home stretch and the playoff race is currently closer than ever. It’s also championship week in college football. And the NBA and NHL somehow steal ratings here and there in between!
I can’t believe it is Week 11 already, folks. It seems like we wait an eternity after the Super Bowl for the NFL to kickoff and then it’s gone quicker than a bottle of Fireball at a sorority social. Now, Ryan Mallett is the starting quarterback of my favorite football team. His first task is against the daunting Cleveland Brown defense, the first place Cleveland Browns mind you, at the Dawg Pound. The big thing that Mallet has going for him is that he can’t be any worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick. Well, at least I hope he can’t.
The Wayniac Nation Power 5 takes a bit of a scramble this week. Last week, the Arizona Cardinals flew high to the number one spot. They won again this past weekend against a very tricky St. Louis Rams team to get to an NFL best 8-1. They lost, however, Carson Palmer for the year. The Cards have already played three games without Palmer this year and Drew Stanton went 2-1 in his stead. How far will they fall off with the sixth toughest remaining schedule? The Wayniac still thinks they take the very formidable NFC West, however, they take a step back this week.
THE WAYNIAC NATION POWER 5: 1.Denver Broncos, 2. Arizona Cardinals, 3. New England Patriots, 4. Detroit Lions and 5. Philadelphia Eagles
Luckily the Cowboys are on a bye this week, so we won’t have to hear about how great they are, especially after that impressive monster win in London over the… Jacksonville Jaguars (also on a bye). For those of you unfamiliar with the Jacksonville Jaguars, they are a team that the best High School football team in America could beat. The New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens also take a seat this week. The good news for NFL fans is that those are pretty crappy teams, so there should be some interesting games to watch this week. At least you would think. Somehow the football powers-that-be felt the Washington Potato Skins versus the Tampa Bay Suck-a-neers, the Atlanta Falcons versus the Carolina Panthers and a Monday Night Football matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans was good scheduling. Don’t worry though, there are still several important story lines to follow this week.
Week three proved to be yet another exciting one in the 2014 NFL season. The undefeateds lost more than half of their prestigious club as four teams dropped to 2-1 while only three moved on to 3-0. The Eagles, Bengals and Arizona Cardinals are all that’s left in the NFL that are undefeated. I am sure that is a sentence no one ever imagined to be spoken. The Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers can’t buy a win as Tampa does not look like they are in lovie with Smith in their first season.
Week four is the first of those pesky byes and six teams have off for the weekend. There will be no Peyton Manning or Russell Wilson this week, nor will there be any of the surprising high-powered Cleveland Brown rushing attack of Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. The Austin Davis led Rams will have a week to get their injury-plagued heads straight, and we have one guarantee. The Cardinals and Bengals will remain undefeated heading into week five, but if there is a way to lose a game on your week off, there is no doubt in my mind that Marvin Lewis would find out how to do it.
Don’t worry, folks. There is still plenty of football action going down. I will toot my own horn a little bit. The last two weeks I have been on fire with my mini-predicitions. That means this week, it should all come crumbling down.
The NFL provided a hell of an opening weekend for football junkies out there. The Eagles, Dolphins and Falcons led inspired comebacks to claim victories, while the Bills rolled into Chicago and upset a team that many touted as a Super Bowl contender with an MVP candidate in Jay Cutler at the helms. The lowly Browns showed tremendous poise in a monstrous comeback that fell just short against the Steelers while the defending champs look like they have the moxie to be the first back-to-back Super Bowl winners since the Pats did it a decade ago.
Two of the biggest stories of the upcoming week have to do with off the field issues. I’ve already told you my thoughts on the Ray Rice issue (which you can see here if you missed it), so to see how this further unravels will be quite interesting. Elsewhere, the 32 player reps have yet again put off the vote about the hefty punishments from the league’s drug policy. Josh Gordon and Wes Welker anxiously await the results in hopes of returning to the field.
How do the boys of autumn follow up a weekend like that? It will be a tough act to follow, but there are some highly intriguing games on the slate for the coming week. The week kicks off Thursday night, when arch rivals square off as Ben Roethlisberger takes his Steelers to Baltimore in a match-up with Joe Flacco. It should set the tone for an action-packed weekend.