NFL Midseason Review: NFC
Part 2 of our midseason check-in with the NFL’s teams. A clear front-runner has yet to emerge from the NFC, so it’s anybody’s guess to see who will have the honor of kicking the shit out of the Broncos come Super Bowl Sunday.
The Cowboys rose to the top of their division on the sturdy shoulders of a workmanlike DeMarco Murray, the ever-flashy Dez Bryant, and the surprising revelation that maybe Tony Romo is actually a decent quarterback. Expect Dallas fans to continue to intolerably talk about the Cowboys being America’s team right up until the point they get eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs.
The Iggles have committed more turnovers this season than every other team in the league except for the Jacksonville Jag Rags, but that’s really the only issue that sticks out before Chip Kelly & Co. make their playoff push. That, and the fact that every drunken Eagles fan seems legally bound to claim that Nick Foles is a future Hall of Famer just because he’s able to hit LeSean McCoy on a check-down.
New York Giants
In spite of a shocking turnaround season in which Eli Manning somehow didn’t throw for 50 gazillion interceptions, the Giants don’t look like a playoff team. The best thing Giants fans can look forward to right now is the plumes of steam escaping Tom Coughlin’s red little elfen head on the sidelines.
The Professional Football Team from Washington, DC
After underwhelming outings over the past couple of weeks by Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, RGIII is set to start in the upcoming game against the Vikings, which will be great because it gives DC fans a chance to see their third college phenom quarterback fail to adequately play the game at a professional level. One or two substandard games from Griffin, though, and expect head coach Jay Gruden to flip-flop back to Colt faster than you can say “Fuck Dan Snyder.”
After a handful of lucky wins, a potential Ewing Theory developing around Calvin Johnson, and Golden Tate going full-on Cthulhu on opposing fantasy owners, the only thing more exciting than watching the first half of this Lions team’s season is seeing how Stafford will find a way to crush the hopes and dreams of all of Detroit by throwing for 400 yards and 5 interceptions to cede the NFC North playoff berth to the Packers in the final game of the season.
Green Bay Packers
With only 3 remaining road games — against the Minnesota Vikings, the Buffalo
Fighting Kyle Orton mustaches Bills, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the Packers’ remaining schedule is softer than Drake in a wheelchair. Looks like Pack fans can slip on their cheeseheads and hunting gear, take their deteriorating coronaries down to Lambeau, and prepare for the playoffs yet again. Unless Green Bay keeps pulling more shit like throwing to Julius Peppers running a slant route, of course:
Here’s the working plot for my upcoming buddy-buddy comedy flick, tentatively titled Guaranteed Money: This bye week, three bumbling heroes Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall take advantage of JayCut’s guaranteed contract to skip practice and instead go on a cross-country road trip on a quest for spiritual insight, a wild card berth, and a viable pass defense. Unexpected run-ins with Jay’s insulin dealer (played by Martellus Bennet), Marc Trestman’s daughter, and the ghost of Jim McMahon’s dignity will have you rolling on the floor laughing right up until the film culminates in a final battle between Brian Urlacher and Cutler on the top of the Hancock building as Rahm Emanuel looks on in glee.
Oh boy. Bet the Vikings are regretting not being able to pull the switch on this season… Sorry, I’m done.
Throwing a rookie quarterback and running back out there as starters is the equivalent of trying to save your relationship by buying a cute puppy together in order to inject some much needed spice and excitement into your life. Everything might seem well and good up until the puppy gets inadvertently run over by Jared Allen in the middle of November.
New Orleans Saints
Going into last Thursday’s game against the Panthers, no team was even at .500 in the NFC South, which is quickly becoming the 2014 equivalent of last year’s NFC North. By finally winning a game on the road, Drew Brees and the Saints might just be the least bad team in the division once 16 games are up.
The Panthers are 1-5-1 since winning their first two games of those seasons, and that tie really should have been a loss had the Bengals not Bengaled everywhere all across the tri-state area. Fortunately for Cam Newton’s team, the Panters’ fans were too busy pouring another glass of chardonnay to pair with their cheese plate to get upset about any of those losses.
The NFC South is so bad it’s downright embarrassing that we sent one of its teams to England as ambassadors of the greatest sport on Earth, especially after the Falcons blew a 21 point lead to the Lions. Let’s drown our sorrows about how mighty the Falcons have fallen in the Dirty Bird, shall we?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After trading Mark Barron and Jonathan Casillas (and reportedly trying to move Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin as well), the Bucs have done everything short of burning the greater metropolitan area of Tampa to the ground and relocating to either London or Los Angeles to reshape the franchise. The only joy that’s left is seeing the dynamic range of Lovie Smith’s facial expressions as he oscillates from his trademark “quiet, intense, prideful” stare to his “my soul is dead to the world and the only thing I can do to feel something is to throw this useless challenge flag” stare.
A year after Phoenix teams got shafted out of the playoffs in three of the four major sports, Arizona finally has a team that should escape the orgy of violence and bloodshed that is the NFC West. Carson Palmer looks like the quarterback he was 10 years ago, and is playing his best football since he played under Pete Carroll. The only question is if the Cardinals make the Super Bowl and nobody cares yet again, then did it even happen?
San Francisco 49ers
2014 should finally be the year that San Francisco fans finally answer for all the negative karma they’ve accrued as the 49ers fail to make the playoffs coming out of the vicious NFC West. Let’s just see if Jim Harbaugh’s blood pressure holds up long enough for him to roll a new leaf over and start mercilessly berating officials in the Big Ten as Michigan’s coach. Besides, the 49ers already won the contest for “greatest football-related GIF in the history of ever.”
This is it. This is the year. Pete Carroll is definitely either going to get in a fist fight with Harbaugh, or else he’s going to calmly walk to the Seahawks’ 50, light a spliff, and start whipping his dick around in circles shouting “I’ve got your run-read option right here, brah” as 75,000 Seattle fans go apeshit wild. There is really no in-between.
St. Louis Rams
Once a fashionable pick to sneak into the playoffs on the back of a rock-solid defense and killer PR from signing Michael Sam, the Rams now seem resigned to last place, although that’s not going to stop Austin Davis from inspiring you to run through a brick fucking wall and take on half of ISIS all by your lonesome with his sideline motivational techniques.
1. Arizona Cardinals (13-3)
2. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)
3. Green Bay Packers (9-7)
4. New Orleans Saints (8-8)
5. Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
6. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
7. Detroit Lions (9-7)
8. San Francisco 49ers (9-7)