November 16, 2012
November 9, 2012
Welcome back to the NFL Pregame Flyover, where leftovers are what we serve all season long.
Before we tour this week’s schedule of games – and tell you which games are Probably worth watching, which games are of Questionable worth, Doubtful worth, and no worth - let’s look at the teams that have never won a Super Bowl and ask, “Is this their year?”
First-time Super Bowl winner lurking?
The NFL bills itself as a parity-laden league, where the Cardinals can beat the Patriots on any given Sunday. And yet the Super Bowl era has been dominated by a handful of teams, with the Steelers (6), Niners (5), Cowboys (5), Packers (4) and Giants (4) winning more than half of the 46 Super Bowls to date. Fourteen teams – seven in each conference – have never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. These teams bring shame to the AFC and the NFC, but perhaps that will change with a championship this year. Let’s look at their chances of making good.
(This week we’ll do the NFC, and next week the AFC.)
EAGLES: Philadelphia is 3-7 and has lost its last five games. Have you had the opportunity to see how poorly the Eagles – who lost last week to the Redskins 31-7 – have been playing lately? No? Well, fear not: They’re on national television three of the next four weeks.
Odds they win the Super Bowl: The same as Andy Reid coaching the Eagles next year.
LIONS: Detroit graced your television screen for the 123rd consecutive Thanksgiving on Thursday. If you happened to miss their game because you were eating dinner, you missed hearing the announcers explain why the Lions play on Thanksgiving every year. Here’s the clip.
Odds they win the Super Bowl: The same as you accurately transcribing the content of that clip.
VIKINGS: Minnesota has quietly won six games, including a season sweep of the Lions and an impressive victory over San Francisco. But the Vikings' defense has looked suspect of late, and their offense and special teams will take a big hit if Percy Harvin is out for long.
Odds they win the Super Bowl: The same as a running back blowing out his knee and then returning to All-Pro level within eight months.
CARDINALS: Arizona started the season with four straight victories, foreshadowing the type of consistency they would exhibit later in the year when they lost seven straight (and counting).
Odds they win the Super Bowl: The same as you being able to name the Cardinals’ starting quarterback for every game this season.
PANTHERS: What has happened to Carolina? Earlier in the year every defeat was followed by an entertaining Cam Newton press conference. But now? Nothing. Pick it up, Newton. Those teammates aren’t going to throw themselves under the bus.
Odds they win the Super Bowl: The same as Ryan Kalil having this framed on his wall.
SEAHAWKS: Seattle has surrendered the second-fewest points in the NFL (next to the Niners), and they have the second-best record in the NFC West (next to the Niners). The Seahawks lead San Francisco in games won on phantom simultaneous catches.
Odds they win the Super Bowl: The same as replacement referees working the Super Bowl.
FALCONS: After the Falcons lost their first game of the season to the Saints two weeks ago, Roddy White refused to give the Saints any credit, instead saying the Falcons had given the game to New Orleans. It’s of a piece with Atlanta’s postseason track record in the Matt Ryan era, in which they’ve given it to the other team in every single playoff game.
Odds they win the Super Bowl: The same as Ray Edwards winning team MVP.
The Jingle on the NFL Network
I love the pageantry of Christmas and all its associative sounds, smells, and sights. Gift-giving? Hate it. But carols, gingerbread houses, and stockings hung by the chimney with care? Yes, please. Which is probably why the bells-driven jingle used constantly by the NFL Network always puts me in a good mood. It’s like a mashup of a Zales commercial and that dreadful “Giva-giva-giva Garmin” commercial. Is this jingle new to the holiday season? I can’t say for sure, since I have no idea when the holiday season actually started.
The Weekly Best
Welcome to the Weekly Best, where we hand out Jeffreys and you stroke the furry wall.
Best teams in the NFL: Have their way with the Bears.
Best excuse to get rid of PATs: The injury to Rob Gronkowski.
Best QB in San Francisco: Jim Harbaugh says it’s Colin Kaepernick.
Best passing total still belongs to Norm Van Brocklin (554): But Matt Schaub tied Warren Moon (527) for second best.
Best book I’ve read about the 1970s Raiders: “Badasses” by Peter Richmond, which also happens to be the only book I’ve read about that team.
Best enticement to read the memoirs of John Matuszak and Kenny Stabler: The aforementioned “Badasses.”