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Old 12-06-2017, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,840,021 times
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The Jaguars are legit. One average quarterback away from being a championship team. The Jags are probably a Divisional out this year...

The Chargers are my AFC dark horse. If they bring an A-game they can beat the Patriots and Steelers, but it has to be A-game because surely theyd be on the road...
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:07 PM
 
13,969 posts, read 7,441,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyCrockett View Post
Two questions I pose, so what will be the final score when Pittsburgh and New England meet in the AFC title game? And holy hell, is Tennessee really the three seed right now??
Until the Patriots @ Steelers game is played, it's tough to say but Pittsburgh hasn't looked like a top team recently against Green Bay, Cincinnati, and Indy. They barely won all three games. The Patriots have been blowing teams out for the last 6 games. Their "squeaker" in that stretch was an 8 point win over the Chargers where New England gave up one long running play early and then shut down the Chargers for 3 quarters.

Anything can happen in the playoffs. In recent memory, the Patriots have lost to the Jets and the Ravens. A strong defensive team with a great pass rush can beat them. The Giants did it twice in the Super Bowl. It could be Jacksonville this year.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,840,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Until the Patriots @ Steelers game is played, it's tough to say but Pittsburgh hasn't looked like a top team recently against Green Bay, Cincinnati, and Indy. They barely won all three games. The Patriots have been blowing teams out for the last 6 games. Their "squeaker" in that stretch was an 8 point win over the Chargers where New England gave up one long running play early and then shut down the Chargers for 3 quarters.

Anything can happen in the playoffs. In recent memory, the Patriots have lost to the Jets and the Ravens. A strong defensive team with a great pass rush can beat them. The Giants did it twice in the Super Bowl. It could be Jacksonville this year.
I was saying the same thing about the Steelers until a week ago--that they play down to their competition and don't play championship football consistently. Now, I'm looking at this another way:

Bad teams don't go on seven-game winning streaks. Not only that, but on their seven-game streak, they've responded to adversity and answered the bell every single time. Yes, they've struggled with teams we all think they should have blown out, but they've won all of those games, which is the ultimate goal anyway--anyway--to win. Middle-of-the-pack teams, aka Pretenders, can't face deficits in 4/7 games and win every single game in the streak...

On the other side, We've seen this story before of the team that destroys everybody in the regular season and yet fails to deliver the Lombardi. Off the top of my head is the '11 Packers, '07 Patriots, '01 Rams; there are many other examples. The Patriots have won six of their ten wins by at least two touchdowns and have the #3 point differential. But what does that really mean? To me, this Patriots team is only a contender because of the division and conference they play in. They could turn our to make me look like a complete idiot for saying this, but I think this is the weakest Pats team since maybe '12. A better team would have beaten them last week if it wasn't Buffalo--the Bills stymied the Patriots in the first quarter before taking themselves out of the game. Brady was hit alot (again) and at times looked uncomfortable. That defense is vulnerable to an offense that won't beat itself and can consistently exploit the Pats weaknesses. Buffalo has one of the worst offenses in The League. Look at the teams New England has beaten this year. Half of the teams they've beaten are nowhere near playoff caliber and have one dimensional offenses or no offense at all...

So I believe the Pats and Steelers are much closer than everybody thinks. This Steelers team is better than last year's Steelers; these Patriots are not as good as last year's Patriots. The Steelers have a timely defense but an offense that has few weaknesses. Sure, the Steelers O is only rarely gonna put up 35 on you, but they have consistently shown that they can play and win from behind. Too many weapons at the skill positions, Ben has bettered his play as the year has gone on. The offense is patient, diverse, and specializes in ball control. I just see Steelers/Pats as much tighter than everyone else...

Right now I'm taking Pittsburgh to win the AFC. They match up better with the NFC contenders...
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:05 PM
 
4,986 posts, read 11,064,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
I was saying the same thing about the Steelers until a week ago--that they play down to their competition and don't play championship football consistently. Now, I'm looking at this another way:

Bad teams don't go on seven-game winning streaks. Not only that, but on their seven-game streak, they've responded to adversity and answered the bell every single time. Yes, they've struggled with teams we all think they should have blown out, but they've won all of those games, which is the ultimate goal anyway--anyway--to win. Middle-of-the-pack teams, aka Pretenders, can't face deficits in 4/7 games and win every single game in the streak...

On the other side, We've seen this story before of the team that destroys everybody in the regular season and yet fails to deliver the Lombardi. Off the top of my head is the '11 Packers, '07 Patriots, '01 Rams; there are many other examples. The Patriots have won six of their ten wins by at least two touchdowns and have the #3 point differential. But what does that really mean? To me, this Patriots team is only a contender because of the division and conference they play in. They could turn our to make me look like a complete idiot for saying this, but I think this is the weakest Pats team since maybe '12. A better team would have beaten them last week if it wasn't Buffalo--the Bills stymied the Patriots in the first quarter before taking themselves out of the game. Brady was hit alot (again) and at times looked uncomfortable. That defense is vulnerable to an offense that won't beat itself and can consistently exploit the Pats weaknesses. Buffalo has one of the worst offenses in The League. Look at the teams New England has beaten this year. Half of the teams they've beaten are nowhere near playoff caliber and have one dimensional offenses or no offense at all...

So I believe the Pats and Steelers are much closer than everybody thinks. This Steelers team is better than last year's Steelers; these Patriots are not as good as last year's Patriots. The Steelers have a timely defense but an offense that has few weaknesses. Sure, the Steelers O is only rarely gonna put up 35 on you, but they have consistently shown that they can play and win from behind. Too many weapons at the skill positions, Ben has bettered his play as the year has gone on. The offense is patient, diverse, and specializes in ball control. I just see Steelers/Pats as much tighter than everyone else...

Right now I'm taking Pittsburgh to win the AFC. They match up better with the NFC contenders...
LOL

Let me see if I have this "argument" right....

The Steelers are better than people might think because even though they are barely beating teams during this recent winning streak, the fact that they are able to come back against bad teams like Bengals and Packers shows they respond well to "adversity" (even if said adversity is self imposed). Steelers should have lost to the Colts as well during this streak...

On the other hand, the Patriots who are also on an 8 game winning streak and blowing teams out aren't really that good. Apparently even though the Pats ended up winning handily by 20 points over the Bills that is somehow "less impressive" than barely winning against a bad Bengals team in the last minutes?? How would a "better team" have done against Pittsburgh last week after taking a 17 point lead??? The Pats defense is "vulnerable" yet hasn't given up more than 17 points in a game since October...

In other words, Pats are beating teams handily while Steelers are having to come back late against bad teams but the Steelers are "better" because of it.....and yes "pretenders" can come back to win when they are trailing teams like the Colts, Packers without Rodgers and Bengals and that doesn't make them "contenders"

I also love that the Pat's are only contenders because of the division and conference they are in....because having the Bungles and Browns in your conference is the draw of death....

The Steelers have a "timely"offense with "too many weapons" at skill positions yet they have scored 30 or more points exactly TWICE this season....at some point you "are what you are" and despite all the "weapons" Pittsburgh is a very average offense that will have to keep pace with a New England offense that averages nearly 30 points a game while giving up less than 20 on the other side

The Pats right now are playing better than the Pats were at this time last year, offense is much more dynamic and defense is shutting teams down. Steelers are not as good as last year, barely beating teams they should crush, losing to the Bears, barely beating the Browns...

I see no reason to think the next Pittsburgh New England game will end up differently than any of the others which means a New England blow out...

Pats also match up better with the NFC contenders seeing as they actually have an offense which can score points and a defense that hold down scoring on the side....plus Brady/Belichick is an advantage over any NFC QB/coach combo....not so on the Roth/Tomlin side
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:01 PM
 
4,292 posts, read 1,862,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
A better team would have beaten them last week if it wasn't Buffalo--the Bills stymied the Patriots in the first quarter before taking themselves out of the game. Brady was hit alot (again) and at times looked uncomfortable. That defense is vulnerable to an offense that won't beat itself and can consistently exploit the Pats weaknesses. Buffalo has one of the worst offenses in The League. Look at the teams New England has beaten this year. Half of the teams they've beaten are nowhere near playoff caliber and have one dimensional offenses or no offense at all...
The truth here lies somewhere in the middle.

Buffalo has a bad offense for the most part. No doubt. BUT, this is the same offense that put up 30 and 34 points in consecutive home games against the Bucs and Raiders. And those point totals didn't include any defensive TDs. The Patriots held the Bills to 3 points in Buffalo. The only other team to keep the Bills below 21 points in Buffalo was the Saints (10 points) who happen to be another really good defensive team.

On the other side, New England's 8 game winning streak has only includes one win (Atlanta 14th) over a team that currently has an offense in the top half of the league in PPG. All seven other teams are in the bottom half of the league but not all bottom 10 and none in the bottom 5 in scoring.

But Pittsburgh's opponents haven't really been that much more potent on offense as an average. They've faced Detroit and K.C. who are ranked 5th and 6th respectively. But they have also faced the Colts and Bengals a total of three times. Both teams ranked in the bottom 10 in league in scoring. That's the same number of teams the Patriots have faced who are in the bottom 10, Bills, Dolphins and Broncos.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,840,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill the Butcher View Post
The truth here lies somewhere in the middle.

Buffalo has a bad offense for the most part. No doubt. BUT, this is the same offense that put up 30 and 34 points in consecutive home games against the Bucs and Raiders. And those point totals didn't include any defensive TDs. The Patriots held the Bills to 3 points in Buffalo. The only other team to keep the Bills below 21 points in Buffalo was the Saints (10 points) who happen to be another really good defensive team.

On the other side, New England's 8 game winning streak has only includes one win (Atlanta 14th) over a team that currently has an offense in the top half of the league in PPG. All seven other teams are in the bottom half of the league but not all bottom 10 and none in the bottom 5 in scoring.

But Pittsburgh's opponents haven't really been that much more potent on offense as an average. They've faced Detroit and K.C. who are ranked 5th and 6th respectively. But they have also faced the Colts and Bengals a total of three times. Both teams ranked in the bottom 10 in league in scoring. That's the same number of teams the Patriots have faced who are in the bottom 10, Bills, Dolphins and Broncos.
I agree with this, my point being the gap between both is not as large as many assume...

Sorry, I'm unimpressed with the Patriots steamrolling teams in the regular season--I'm unimpressed with any team who just rolls teams in the regular season. It's a reason I haven't been on the Eagles bandwagon this year at all. How you win is just one facet of the game--who you play, how you match up, who is/isn't playing, where you play, style of play, all of these things and more are components to grading teams. This is a good Patriots team, but what else is new? I just rebuff the argument that they appear much stronger than a Steelers team that has come off the mat and repeatedly responded to adversity. They are both 10-2 and played roughly equal competition (strength of schedule =New England .479, Pittsburgh .465). New England has looked better overall, but this Steelers team still poses matchup threats to the Pats defense that haven't been exploited in months...
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:22 AM
Status: "Beach time!" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg/Virginia Beach, VA
10,701 posts, read 11,105,431 times
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I think if we revisited preseason expectations there wouldn't be too many surprises with the AFC playoff landscape. The Patriots and Steelers were prohibitive favorites in their divisions. A lot of us had the Titans winning that division, and a lot of expected the Ravens to be in the WC picture too.

I also expected the AFC West to be a hotly contended division and it has been. My preseason expectations had the Broncos and Chargers reversed though. That division race will likely extend into week 17. The AFC South race may as well, with the Jaguars currently holding a WC and still very much in position to win their division outright.

Definitely an exciting time of year!
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:05 AM
 
4,292 posts, read 1,862,006 times
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I pictured the Texans winning the South.

The AFC West being close like it is but with the teams having much better records than .500

I thought the Bills and Jets would both have a combined 5 wins at most through week 13.
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:10 AM
 
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I never bought into the narrative that the Jets could be the worst team in the league, or more over, go 0-16, as some suggested. I figured 5 or 6 wins, which still seems likely at the moment. However, they have been more competitive consistently than anyone figured and personally, and more so than some of these other AFC teams ahead of them in the wildcard standings. But they had a three week stretch, where they went 0-3 and could have easily won all three games: the Patriots, Dolphins, and Falcons; you figure law of averages, they should be able to pull one of those games at least with a bounce of the ball, etc.... . If so, they would be right in the thick of the wildcard race. I think the Jets in fact are better than the Titans. But this has never been about who the best six teams are, and at the end of the day New York is just 5-7.

In the meantime, Oakland could move into first place alone (or tied with the Chargers) as of tomorrow, by doing absolutely nothing noteworthy. That's how bad Kansas City has flopped. They could potentially be overtaken by a team whose most redeeming value is that they've flopped a little bit less than the team they have been trying to catch.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:04 AM
 
3,723 posts, read 3,884,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyCrockett View Post
I never bought into the narrative that the Jets could be the worst team in the league, or more over, go 0-16, as some suggested. I figured 5 or 6 wins, which still seems likely at the moment. However, they have been more competitive consistently than anyone figured and personally, and more so than some of these other AFC teams ahead of them in the wildcard standings. But they had a three week stretch, where they went 0-3 and could have easily won all three games: the Patriots, Dolphins, and Falcons; you figure law of averages, they should be able to pull one of those games at least with a bounce of the ball, etc.... . If so, they would be right in the thick of the wildcard race. I think the Jets in fact are better than the Titans. But this has never been about who the best six teams are, and at the end of the day New York is just 5-7.

In the meantime, Oakland could move into first place alone (or tied with the Chargers) as of tomorrow, by doing absolutely nothing noteworthy. That's how bad Kansas City has flopped. They could potentially be overtaken by a team whose most redeeming value is that they've flopped a little bit less than the team they have been trying to catch.
The main reason the Jets are sitting at 5-7 is Josh McCown. He's quietly having a great season for the Jets this year - something very few would have thought. 23 total touchdowns (18 throwing 5 rushing) and over 3,000 yards of total offense (2,980 passing and 127 rushing).
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