NFL Week 17 Review; Wild Card Weekend Preview, Predictions

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All the talk that the Giants can make a playoff run like they did in 2007 is a bit premature. The run the Giants made four years ago was historic. Banking on a team doing that again within a five year period is asking a lot. Also, just to get to the Super Bowl they will likely have to knock off two of the last three Super Bowl winners in the Packers and Saints on the road when they have already lost to both of these teams this year.

To even get a crack at knocking off the top two teams in the NFC (sorry 49er fans) they would need to do something they haven’t done in 11 years; win a home playoff game. The Giants are dangerous and they are definitely coming together at the right time. However, expecting any more than a home playoff victory and a trip to the divisional round is farfetched.

Lost in all the post-mortem hype surrounding the Jets is that they simply weren’t a good football team this year. Sure the locker room is dysfunctional with a bunch of bad character guys and Brian Schottenheimer’s play calling is confusing at best and downright terrible at worst but if the Jets were talented they would be in the playoffs despite these deficiencies. Outside of Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold what player on the Jets is elite for his position? David Harris and Bart Scott are good linebackers but you can definitely find better on other NFL teams.

Santonio Holmes is an average wide receiver and Mark Sanchez is an average quarterback. None of their running backs are anything to write home about and Dustin Keller isn’t in the same stratosphere as Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski despite his strong 2011 campaign. Based on their talent level the Jets finished right where they should have this year.

All the talk yesterday in the media that Drew Brees should win the MVP award over Aaron Rodgers because of Matt Flynn’s 6 TD, 480-yard performance is ridiculous. Flynn had one great game against a bad secondary. His performance doesn’t discount the fact that Rodgers threw 45 TD passes this year against only 6 INT’s and registered an obscenely good 122.5 quarterback rating. He also did all this in an outdoor home field with less offensive talent than Brees. And have these media experts considered the fact that Flynn may actually be really good? Along with Sunday’s performance he also played well last year as a fill in for an injured Rodgers in a loss to the Patriots. Time and an opportunity to play will tell but we may look back in a few years and not be all that surprised at what Flynn accomplished yesterday against the Lions.

The three most disappointing teams of 2011 in increasing order of underachievement; Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and St. Louis with honorable mention to San Diego.

The three biggest surprises of 2011 in increasing order of how surprising; Denver, Cincinnati and the easy winner, San Francisco.

My picks for Wild Card weekend

Houston Texans – 3 – Houston may be banged up but Cincinnati took advantage of a soft schedule to win nine games and aren’t ready to win a road playoff game.

Detroit Lions +11 – The Saints will win but the Lions’ offense is good enough to keep the game close for a while and get a backdoor touchdown late to cover.

New York Giants – 3 – The Giants are peaking at the right time while the Falcons are a poor road team with only one quality win (at Detroit) on their 2011 resume.

Denver Broncos + 9 – Pittsburgh doesn’t blow anyone out on the road and they are hurting at running back with Rashard Mendenhall done for the year with a torn ACL. The Steelers will win but it will be by less than a touchdown.

A Staff Writer for RotoExperts, Tamer Chamma is a two time top 50 Finalist in the WFAN Fantasy Phenom contest as well as a weekly guest on the SiriusXM "RotoExperts" morning show. Tamer is also a fill-in co-host for the show. You may contact Tamer @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @RotoExperts_TC