Round 1 Game 1

Today is the start of the NFL playoffs and the first game of the first round has a lot of questions to be answered.

The Cincinnati Bengals face off against the Houston Texans in Texas.  The Bengals are one of the back in teams while the Texans won their division weeks ago.  Both teams are young and this is a new place for them to be.

AFC Playoff Picture

The AFC playoff picture is partially painted through week 16 but there are still some spots up for grabs under various scenarios.

Already solidified are the AFC East and a 1st round bye with the Patriots.  The AFC South spot is also sorted out with the Houston Texans.  The two wildcard teams right now are the Steelers and Ravens but that could change depending on what happens this weekend.

The Ravens clinch the AFC North division and a first-round bye with a Ravens win OR a Ravens tie and a Steelers loss or tie OR a Steelers loss.  The Ravens clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a Ravens win and a Patriots loss at the Bills.

Not As Good As You Think

A few teams in the NFL this season are getting far more favorable coverage than they probably deserve.  While their records may be better than some other teams and in some cases better than a lot of other teams, it doesn’t really mean they are that great of a team.  Most have a lot of issues they need to work on and some may not end up anywhere near the post season.  Yes, these teams records are their records but this is not about wins and losses, this is about cores.  Are these really good teams or are their inflated records clouding the issue.

Carson Palmer To The Raiders

The Raiders are having a surprising season so far and one also filled with loss.  They lost their long time owner Al Davis and then they lost their starting QB in Jason Campbell to a broken collar bone.  But things aren’t all bleak for the Raiders.

Bad Bets

Nobody likes losing money or picking the wrong team and NFL football fans especially.  This season there are a few teams that should be avoided at all costs and this is my list of which teams are bad bets for the 2011 season.

Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks haven’t done that well for the past few years and they had a serviceable quarterback in Hasselbeck.  Now they don’t have that QB and are working with Tavaris Jackson (we assume, though it might be Whitehurst at some point) and that’s just not the same thing.  They haven’t looked good in the preseason and it is definitely what I would call a “restart” season.  Lots of people having to learn lots of things and that never translates well on the field against teams that already know everything they need to know.

No Football No Problem

For some, no football is their worst nightmare come true.  But for others, like Chad Ochocinco, it’s just an opportunity to act crazy and talk nonstop.  Not that he didn’t do that while there was football, but all this free time just makes it a constant thing.  One thing is certain, he definitely knows how to play to a captive audience.  I mean what else have all these football fans and NFL writers got to do right now?  You can only say there’s still a lockout on so many ways and then it’s time to look for something else.

Palmer Wants Out Of Bengals

Carson Palmer had already made it plain to the Bengals that he wanted out.  He told them he wanted a trade.  In January, Bengals owner Mike Brown flatly refused saying that Palmer was crucial to the team’s plans.  Palmer now is ready to quit football entirely if necessary to get out of the Bengals.

Not For Long

I’ve decided to rename the NFL the Not For Long league because there are some teams and players that are not long for this season.  Some that should have been done a while back and some that are definitely done now.

Vikings – Brett Favre, Brad Childress, and the entire Vikings team – not for long.  Favre is losing games for the Vikings and has been all season with his poor throws and never ending drama.  Childress has no control over a team that conceded all control to Favre.  The Vikings because the ownership will not bench Favre or fito Childress this season.  And this season is OVER for the Vikings – it was over a month ago.

Whiners Aren’t Winners

If you recall, I said when TO and Ochocinco ended up on the same team that it would be about 6 games before it started to unravel.  I was off a few games, but I was right.  Only, I had it backwards. It’s Ochocinco that’s the problem, not TO.

Carson Palmer Skips Practice

Wouldn’t it be such a terrible thing is Carson Palmer were to miss the Dolphins game this weekend? Sure, he’s been gathering the stats but then again that doesn’t always translate to wins. He’s had “992 yards, seven TDs and three INTs over the last three games” in the last three games. But guess what folks? Those were all losses.

I know it’s not all Palmer. But I think Palmer is one of those players that has been overrated over the years. Bottom line is great quarterbacks win. Palmer has been out of practice with a hip injury but sources say he’ll still play against the Dolphins on Sunday.