by Allyus Fritz
As baseball comes to a close and the winter sports begin, football hits its stride. Pretenders will soon be unmasked and the playoff picture will gradually become clear. Here are the NFL’s burning topics so far this season, according to the Corner Blitz:
First Down: The Denver Broncos
The Broncos have been absolutely lethal and have not shown a single weakness on either side of the ball through four weeks. Peyton Manning is doing what he does best, which is shred defenses. His obsession with perfection is even more abundantly clear this season. Denver will already be up by 30 points and if an offensive lineman gets called for a penalty, Manning will look up at the sideline like someone kicked his puppy.
Von Miller and Champ Bailey will soon be back to bolster a defense that has played surprising well. Shaun Phillips has been a welcome addition to the pass rush, while the entire Denver secondary is playing superb. This seems to happen on teams where Manning is the quarterback. For years Colts defenses benefited from Manning taking other teams out of their games and forcing them to pass to keep up with the Indianapolis offense. The Colts only faltered when Manning couldn’t put points on the board, so for Denver’s sake, hopefully he doesn’t falter in the postseason.
Second Down: The Seattle Seahawks
I like the trash talking. I enjoy watching Richard Sherman and the defense pick on people. The Seahawks, pure and simply, are a fun group. They seem to embody Pete Carroll’s personality. I would much rather the Seahawks win that division than the 49ers.
Third Down: The Jacksonville Jaguars
What a horrible excuse for a football team. With quarterback play being as awful as it is, I think the only real solution is this: sign Tim Tebow. Seriously, what does Jacksonville have to lose? It will put fans in the seats, and odds are Tebow somehow pulls out a victory here and there. There’s a good chance the Jaguars could go 0-16 with or without him, so why not sign him and make some more money?
Fourth Down: Falls from grace: Pittsburgh and NYG
It’s really a shame that these two teams won’t make the playoffs… not. The New York Giants, much like its Giants counterparts in the MLB, won two championships while definitely not being the best team in the sport those two given seasons. The Giants are finally having an awful season, which I can get behind. As for Pittsburgh, is it hubris that’s finally catching up with them? Every year we all have to hear about the terrible towel and how perfect playing in Pittsburgh is. Your quarterback is a criminal, therefore your organization isn’t as clean as you’re trying to make it look. I for one won’t miss them in January.
Biggest Surprise: Indianapolis over San Francisco
Andrew Luck and his blue horseshoed compadres made a huge statement when they traveled to San Francisco and dominated. Andrew Luck’s naked bootleg for a touchdown to ice the game is something we’re going to see on highlight reels for the rest of our lives. Let’s see if San Francisco can beat Houston this week, which will tell us a lot about whether or not this game was a fluke or the Colts are for real.
Biggest Letdown: RGIII
I was all in for week one… in both of my fantasy leagues. To be honest, the only place Griffin isn’t letting people down is fantasy football because he’s still putting up a ton of points in the garbage minutes of his games. If things don’t improve though, I may be looking at missing the playoffs for the first time in my fantasy existence. It’s a dark, lonely feeling. Get it together Rob.
The Obscenely Early Playoff Scenario
If the season ended today these would be your playoff matchups:
First Round Bye: 1. New England Patriots 2. Denver Broncos
6. Miami vs. 3. Indianapolis
5. Kansas City vs. 4. Baltimore
* Tennessee and Miami are both 3-1. Also, by the end of the season tiebreakers will decide who would be the 1 seed between New England and Denver. I just decided at random.
First Round Byes: 1. Seattle 2. New Orleans
6. San Francisco vs. 3. Detroit
5. Chicago vs. 4. Dallas
Week 5 Picks
Buffalo @ Cleveland- WIN
– The Browns have the unfortunate responsibility of cheering up Cleveland after the Indians could not make it past the American League wild card game. Brian Hoyer will hit Jordan Cameron for a couple more touchdowns, propelling the Browns to a victory in a close game.
– It certainly didn’t go how I said it would, but I get the win nonetheless.
Jacksonville @ St. Louis
– Well, somebody has to win. This week St. Louis has the good fortune of playing the only team that has looked worse than them over the last three games (except the Giants). The Rams win this because they’re at home and the Jaguars are horrendous.
Kansas City @ Tennessee
– The loss of Jake Locker will hurt Tennessee badly. The Titans will try to rely on Chris Johnson, which won’t work because the Chiefs defense is legit.
Philadelphia @ New York Giants
The Giants have to win sometime don’t they? This is the week Eli Manning and the New York offense gets rolling. Expect a high scoring game.
Baltimore @ Miami
The Ravens are back to being consistently inconsistent. One week Joe Flacco will look like he did in the Super Bowl, and the next week he’ll look like Mark Sanchez’s clone. I’m not sold on the Dolphins yet, so expect Baltimore to head down to Miami and take care of business.
Seattle @ Indianapolis
I’m taking Seattle because not picking Seattle seems silly. The Seahawks have to lose at some point, but they always seem to find a way to win (just look at the Houston game). I’m not very confident in this selection.
Detroit @ Green Bay
Detroit needs to travel to Green Bay and win for anyone to take them as a serious contender to win the NFC North. It won’t happen.
New England @ Cincinnati
It looks like Tom Brady and his receivers are finally clicking. This should be a close game. I’m taking the Patriots because Andy Dalton hasn’t shown the ability to come through in big games yet.
New Orleans @ Chicago
I’m going with the upset here. New Orleans, like all the other undefeated teams, has a target on its back. I think the Bears win a gritty game and put the Saints into the loss column.
Carolina @ Arizona
Cam Newton and the Panthers have to win to validate their presence in the playoff conversation. Nothing has changed in Carolina in the Ron Rivera era if they don’t leave Phoenix with a victory.
Denver @ Dallas
Houston @ San Francisco
Conference powers who have disappointed NFL prognosticators clash on the west coast. This most likely be a fantastic game, and I’m taking the 49ers simply because they’re the home team.
San Diego @ Oakland
The Chargers pull out a victory on the shoulders of Philip Rivers.
New York Jets @ Atlanta
I personally don’t think this will be close. What a stinker of a Monday Night Football game, huh?
Bye: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington
– The Denver Broncos will travel into New England undefeated Week 12 this perfect, sitting at 10-0. This showdown with New England will go a long way in deciding home field advantage in the AFC.
See you in November.