Eric Berry made a lot of history this past Sunday. First, he returns to Atlanta for the first time since undergoing treatment for his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma there back in late 2014/early 2015. Second, he gets a pick six late in the second half. Then, with the Falcons going for two up one late, Berry picks off a Matt Ryan pass and goes all the way for a Pick Two. That is the first pick two in NFL history and ended up providing the winning points for the Chiefs. An unreal game for a great guy. So yeah, I have this feeling he may end up being the only person ever to pull off that double. That is EXTREMELY tough to do.
Alright onto the rest of the action from this past week in the NFL:
- There was a time in the third quarter, when the Bills were up 24-9 on Oakland that I thought “Hey, they may pull this off.” Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Oakland is really good, especially on offense so they will be tough to stop. The Bills have a tough road ahead of them to make the playoffs. They would have to win three of their remaining four to have any shot at getting in. They have the Steelers next so that’s a tough one. However, if they get through that they have the Browns, Dolphins, and Jets to finish the season. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
- The Jets are awful. They join the Browns, 49ers, Jaguars and Bears as the truly awful teams of this season. Has there ever been a season when there has been five teams that are this bad? I can’t remember one.
- Oh and to add insult to injury to our eyeballs, the only CBS afternoon game this Sunday is the Jets at the Niners. Good lord.
- Other than the great KC-Atlanta game, the early afternoon schedule this past weekend was a dud. There was a lot of potential but none of the games were exciting. It’s out of their control obviously, but this is something the NFL can ill-afford coming down the stretch. They need every early and late timeslot to have at least one exciting game to keep up the momentum they are finally getting.
Alright that’s a terribly small recap that was focused mostly on the Bills-Raiders and Chiefs-Falcons games but I digress. Not a great weekend of football overall. So let’s look at some surprises and disappointments instead, shall we?
Tampa Bay – Yes, the Bucs have been a huge surprise. Many figured they were about a season away from contending for a playoff spot. As of right now they are tied with the Falcons for the NFC South lead and it wouldn’t surprise anyone now if they took the division crown.
Dallas – Let’s be honest: no one thought the Cowboys would be this good, especially with Romo out. Instead they are the best team in the league with the two hottest offensive players in the league. They have already qualified for the playoffs and many are talking Super Bowl for this team. Impressive.
Detroit – Another team that no one thought would be at the top of their division. The Lions truly are a team living on the edge. Before last week, they had been behind in the fourth quarter in EVERY GAME THIS SEASON yet had been 7-4. Unreal. This is a team to watch especially with Matthew Stafford on fire these days.
Oakland – I throw the Raiders in here only because I didn’t think they would be this good this fast. Their offense is awesome. Luckily they have Khalil Mack on defense, otherwise we would have to call their D average. And they are doing all this while leading the league in penalties.
Cincinnati – One of my two Super Bowl picks, the Bengals have looked nothing short of awful this season. I think the Marvin Lewis era has run its course in southern Ohio. Technically they are not eliminated but there’s no chance they get into the playoffs.
Arizona – And here’s my other Super Bowl pick. God my NFL picks were awful this season. Anyway, I don’t know what’s wrong in the desert. This team should be good. They have all the pieces in place. They have just underperformed badly. They are a game-and-a-half out with only four to play so they have to basically run the table and get some luck along the way.
Carolina – They weren’t going to be as good as last season. But they should be better. Part of this is the other three teams in the NFC South have improved. Part of it is perhaps Cam Newton isn’t 100%. Who knows. All I know is that Riverboat Ron will be on the hot seat next season unless he can close out the season on a hot streak.
There’s a few other teams you could put in this category but those are the three major ones.
Speaking of my preseason picks, let’s go on and compare some of my other picks from the preseason:
Carolina should clinch the NFC South by Thanksgiving. Nope.
Kansas City will be just on the outside looking in. Wrong again.
Trying to figure out how Tennessee will get more than two wins. Good lord.
OK so I got some things wrong. Even the conference championship losers (Pittsburgh and Green Bay) seem like dubious picks at this point. Not good at all.
Alright, this Thursday night is easily the Thursday Night Football game of the season. Oakland travelling to Kansas City? Holy shit! No way the schedule makers figured both of these teams would be as good as they are. And Oakland win basically clinches the AFC West and first round bye. A KC win and the division is up for grabs.
Tomorrow I am hoping to send out an updated TV schedule for the bowl games but at this point it’s a bit of a crapshoot since TSN has not released anything yet. I also will do a bowl rankings post like previous years so I may do that first. We shall see. NFL schedule might come out Thursday this week if CTV and TSN cooperate.