The final week of the 2017 regular season ended exactly as it should have: with mass confusion and nothing making sense. It’s not all negative though: the Bills ended their longtime playoff drought thanks to Andy Dalton forgetting he was Andy Dalton and throwing a game winning Touchdown pass on 4th and 12. The Browns did the most Browns thing ever by losing to a pedestrian backup QB and becoming the second team to ever go 0-16, which, awkwardly enough, the Lions beat them to. The NFC features an entirely new crop of playoff contenders with the exception of the defending NFC Champs in the Atlanta Falcons, who put on a defensive clinic against Cam Newton in one of the most bizarre offensive performances I’ve ever seen.
The playoffs should be a LOT of fun, I’ll have more on that later.
Tier 7 – “I Would Do Anything For Love” x Meatloaf
#33. Cleveland Browns – Sit there, be quiet, don’t touch NOTHING.
Tier 6 – “Bye Bye Bye” x N’SYNC
#32. Landry Jones – Yes?
#31. Chicago Bears – There’s talent on that roster, but they need a LOT of help and a coach that’s not so tied to game-management and defense.
#30. New York Giants – I’m confused on the margin of victory and Eli’s completion percentage.
#29. Indianapolis Colts – Jacoby Brissett collecting someone’s backup money in 2018.
#28. Denver Broncos – If Elway fired Vance I would’ve had a lot of questions, namely “how you gonna saddle a man with Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler and ask him to win a division?”
#27. Houston Texans – Same with Bill O’Brien
#26. New York Jets – Todd Bowles keeping his job is what needed to happen, exceeded expectations and was in the playoff hunt until losing McCown. Seriously.
Tier 5 – “F*** You” x Eamon
#25. Oakland Raiders – Del Rio’s firing surprises me, but one has to wonder how heated Andy Reid is now that the future coach of the Raiders is interviewing him and watching his practices…..for television.
#24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers don’t deserve Jameis Winston. They didn’t. They do NAHHHHT
#23. Washington Team – Oh hai Kirk. When’s your next paycheck coming?
#22. Miami Dolphins – Scammer of the year goes to Jay Cutler. Came out of a retirement to secure a $10 million bag: one milli for every game lost.
#21. Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Lewis went out the way he came in: winning games he had no business winning after the season was well out of reach.
#20. Green Bay Packers – Just give Aaron Rodgers a damn team.
#19. Baltimore Ravens – Maybe this is what they needed.
Tier 4 – “End of the Road” x Boys II Men
#18. Dallas Cowboys – Saw a tweet that said it best. As long as you’re Jerry’s yes man, you’re going to have a job. Cowboys staff is going nowhere no matter how many 8-8s and 9-7s they put up.
#17. Arizona Cardinals – No jokes on this one. I’m sad Arians is retiring: he’s been an advocate for minority coaches, even championing extending the Rooney Rule to Coordinator positions as well. He has employed black coordinators in Arizona and has been grooming Byron Leftwich for a future OC position. In a field where a good 80%+ of the current black coaches came from Dungy’s tree, he’s a much needed figurehead in football. He also hired the first female coach in league history.
#16. Detroit Lions – It’s great that the Lions expect more out of coaches on their staff. It’s not enough to just win 9 games anymore. Hate it for Caldwell, but Detroit wants more, they should go for it.
#15. Tennessee Titans – Mularkey is likely out regardless. Titans aren’t going further than Wildcard weekend.
#14. Seattle Seahawks – Please provide Russell Wilson a running back. And an Offensive Line. Please. Please. Pleaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeee.
#13. San Francisco 49ers – Have to give credit to Kyle Shannahan credit for continuing to hold a team together despite losing 10 of their first 11 games. Jimmy has done well but the coach he’s working with is a large part of that.
Tier 3 – “I Will Survive” x Gloria Gaynor
#12. Los Angeles Chargers – Anthony Lynn would’ve been a shoe-in for the Coach of the Year award IMO if they made the postseason. 2 lousy years in a row for the Chargers, an 0-4 start and somehow they finish 9-7.
#11. Buffalo Bills – McDermott and ownership should still be held to the fire for making a “statement” benching for a mid-round rookie QB who threw 5 INTs and lost a game that could’ve become a tie-breaker situation if Tennessee had lost. It basically took Andy Dalton having an out of body moment for them to break a drought they could’ve easily broken themselves.
#10. Philadelphia Eagles – When your coach is considering giving Sudfield playing time in the postseason, you’re in trouble.
#9. Carolina Panthers – Panthers have reared their head as an inconsistent team. When they’re on, they’re on, but it seems a little too easy to shut them down.
#8. Atlanta Falcons – Defense isn’t getting enough credit, they do everything but get turnovers. Got 3 against Carolina and dominated that game. They could have a run in them if the offense can muster 20 points.
Tier 2 – “Ruins” x Intuition & Equalibrium
#7. New Orleans Saints – They’ve been exposed a little bit, but don’t think for one minute they aren’t a team to be reckoned with in the NFC.
#6. Jacksonville Jaguars – Backed into the playoffs on two bad performances. Formula for a one and done.
#5. Los Angeles Rams – This team puzzles me, can either be a one and done or make a Super Bowl run. I’m intrigued.
Tier 1 – “Before I Let Go” – Maze & Frankie Beverly
#4. Kansas City Chiefs – They’ve gotten their swagger back. No, really, be afraid.
#3. Minnesota Vikings – Still the favorites in the NFC and I can’t point my finger at a team I trust to beat them in their own home.
#2. Pittsburgh Steelers – I trust their offense more than I distrust their defense.
#1. New England Patriots – They’re the team to beat, it’s simple.