It's been a while since I pulled the ol' misery loves company bit...but don't think I haven't been thinking about it.
Certainly it's been frustrating watching the Jets this year - any other year these tight losses and mistake-filled games would qualify as complete disappointments, but I'm putting all of my stock into next year.
And while I think positive thoughts about next year for my Jets, I'm here to tell you why I'm glad I don't have to deal with the frustrations a few other teams are going through.
And since it's almost Thanksgiving, let's put it in terms of why these teams and their fans are not thankful...
*I picked the Atlanta Falcons to go to the Super Bowl, so I've been watching them pretty closely. And they are not going to the Super Bowl. How frustrating must it be to be a Falcons fan? Their defense can't stop anyone - the past few weeks all teams do is march up and down the field against them. They've lost four out of five. They couldn't stop the Panthers, and the Panthers are quarterbacked by Jake Delhomme. And every time they needed a stop against the Giants this past Sunday they couldn't get one. Matt Ryan is playing more like a rookie quarterback this year than he did last year, but he's still been effective - he did drive the team to a game-tying touchdown in the final minute Sunday. If the Falcons fall short this year (read: not even a playoff team, which they're not right now), I put the blame on the defense.
*Conversely, the Panthers win games they shouldn't, like the game with Atlanta, and then go and lay an egg against the Dolphins on Thursday night. Look for them to bounce back against the Jets this weekend...but they'll shoot themselves in the foot again soon.
*Titans fans have to be tremendously pissed. They start off 0-6, then turn it on and get to 4-6 and are playing like the team people expected them to be. Where was that any of the first two months of the season? If they had showed up for one of those games they'd be a real playoff threat.
*The two big-time faders are the opposite of the Titans - instead of coming on strong they're fighting off failure...and fighting with each other. Both the Broncos and the Cowboys have poor track records (Denver's fade at the end of last year and the Cowboys going more than a decade without a playoff win amidst high expectations), and are experiencing some in-fighting (both teams had sideline distraction/dust-ups last week). They both have to be scared teams as the weather turns cold, just fighting to hang on. Denver dropped out of first with their loss to San Diego last week...the Cowboys are still atop the NFC East...for now.
Thanksgiving Day will be telling. The Cowboys host the Raiders, who pull off the occasional upset (though they're usually in Oakland), and the night game is the Broncos hosting the Giants...another team that has been frustrating to watch. The loser of the Thursday night game, even though it's AFC versus NFC, could miss the playoffs. If the Cowboys can blow the doors off Oakland, they may be able to coast to the post-season...but another 7-6 type win could just delay the inevitable.