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2017 NFL Season: Then there were Two

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I'm not denying that The Patriots play in a weak division, I'm just pointing out that the AFC North is pathetically weak as well.

Yet I've never seen people give Ben the flak Brady gets for playing in a "joke division" when The Steelers get to play 2 games against The Browns every season. 

 

And yeah, that's not either team's fault. I just enjoy the irony of it. 

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17 hours ago, McCarthy said:

AFC North, but...probably. The Ravens have a QB problem all of a sudden, the Browns are the Browns, and the Bengals are the Bengals. 

 

Flacco didn't play well in the first half of the season (or the first half of the Bengals game :cursing:).  However, he was pretty good most of the last seven games.

 

The other thing to keep in mind about the Ravens is that they were hit pretty hard with injuries this year.  They played 14 games without either of their starting guards (one of whom is a perennial All Pro) and the last four without Jimmy Smith, who was playing at a Pro Bowl level (not to mention Dennis Pitta being forced into retirement during training camp). 

 

I'm not saying the Ravens will be Super Bowl contenders next year.  However, I do think they will be better than they were this year (albeit against tougher competition because the AFC North plays the NFC South and AFC West next season . . . and the Ravens play Buffalo and Tennessee in their placement games). 

 

7 hours ago, Cosmic said:

* The AFC East had more wins than four other divisions this year, and was only one win behind two other divisions.

 

The fact that the Patriots have won the Super Bowl nearly 1/3 of the time with Brady as a starter in a league with 31/32 teams should prove that the Patriots are pretty good against the rest of the league, too.

 

The Patriots performance against the rest of the league has been strongly affected by the general weakness of the AFC East.  By running up their record in the East, they have usually had a bye in the first round of the playoffs, if not home field advantage.  During the Brady/Belichick era, the Patriots have only played seven playoff games on the road* (only two after 2006) and haven't played on wildcard weekend since 2009.  It's a lot easier to make it to the Super Bowl when you're playing at home most of the time.

 

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nwe/playoffs.htm

 

* -- Joe Flacco has won seven road playoff games (out of twelve).

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2 hours ago, ozzyman314 said:

I'm not denying that The Patriots play in a weak division, I'm just pointing out that the AFC North is pathetically weak as well.

 

LOL no it's not. It's not even close. Not to get all SEC fan here, but you could make the case that over the last 10 years the North has been the hardest division in the AFC. It's definitely been better than the South and East. 

 

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Yet I've never seen people give Ben the flak Brady gets for playing in a "joke division" when The Steelers get to play 2 games against The Browns every season. 

 

Nobody says that because it's not a joke division. The Bengals have made the playoffs 7 times in 12 years, the Ravens were perennial contenders up until the last few years. Yeah they all get 2 wins against the Browns every year, but the other 4 games are not easy and every division has their own version of the Browns. The Patriots are gift wrapped at least 5 wins a year if not handed all 6. The Pats and the AFC East is the difference between a first round bye and playing in the wildcard round, it's the difference between home-field in the AFCCG and going on the road. Not saying the Patriots aren't a model organization, but their division has been very kind over this last decade and a half. 

 

Quote

And yeah, that's not either team's fault. I just enjoy the irony of it. 

 

Any irony to enjoy is fabricated. 

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Is this the place to drop our playoff picks?

 

If not, sorry not sorry:

 

Falcons over Rams 28-24

Saints over Panthers 30-24

Jaguars over Bills 21-10

Chiefs over Titans 30-10

 

Saints over Vikings 24-21

Falcons over Eagles 31-21

 

Steelers over Jaguars 21-14

Patriots over Chiefs 27-14

 

Saints over Falcons 34-27

 

Patriots over Steelers 27-21

 

PATRIOTS OVER SAINTS 38-31

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3 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

The other thing to keep in mind about the Ravens is that they were hit pretty hard with injuries this year.  They played 14 games without either of their starting guards (one of whom is a perennial All Pro) and the last four without Jimmy Smith, who was playing at a Pro Bowl level (not to mention Dennis Pitta being forced into retirement during training camp). 

The Ravens seem to be the most injured team every year. I specifically remember the 2015 season when Flacco, Smith Sr., and of course Jimmy Smith all went down with injuries (and they still managed to sweep the Steelers, damn Ravens).

 

But I really think the Ravens lack the talent on offense, specifically WR, to compete with the big boys. Collins might become really good and Flacco may find his mojo, but if they don't find any competent WRs they'll continue to lose in big games.

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1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

 

LOL no it's not. It's not even close. Not to get all SEC fan here, but you could make the case that over the last 10 years the North has been the hardest division in the AFC. It's definitely been better than the South and East. 

No division with the Cleveland Browns in it can be considered Hard. At best you're playing a 3 team division.  The only division more of a joke than the North & East is The AFC South. 

 

1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

Nobody says that because it's not a joke division. The Bengals have made the playoffs 7 times in 12 years, the Ravens were perennial contenders up until the last few years. Yeah they all get 2 wins against the Browns every year, but the other 4 games are not easy and every division has their own version of the Browns. The Patriots are gift wrapped at least 5 wins a year if not handed all 6. The Pats and the AFC East is the difference between a first round bye and playing in the wildcard round, it's the difference between home-field in the AFCCG and going on the road. Not saying the Patriots aren't a model organization, but their division has been very kind over this last decade and a half. 

 

 Aside from Pittsburgh & Baltimore, what has that division accomplished? Bengals are 0-7 in the playoffs, and the Browns are....the Browns. And no, no division has "their version" of The Browns.

1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

Any irony to enjoy is fabricated. 

  When I see Steelers or Ravens fans complaining about it, yeah there is.    

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Over the past 15 years, you could make a case any one of three teams would win the AFC North (and really, most every other NFL division not the AFC East). 

 

Duringthat same time period, generally only one team had a legitimate shot to win the AFC East.

 

What does it hurt to accept that the Pats are buoyed by a garbage division every year? It's institutional advantage. Those are the best kind to have.

 

 

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1 hour ago, JWhiz96 said:

But I really think the Ravens lack the talent on offense, specifically WR, to compete with the big boys. Collins might become really good and Flacco may find his mojo, but if they don't find any competent WRs they'll continue to lose in big games.

 

This is one of the keys to the Ravens stepping up a level (along with offensive line health).  They've never seemed to be able to develop a good WR, other than perhaps Torrey Smith (who was more of a speed guy than anything else). Instead, they've survived off of veterans picked up later in their careers (e.g., Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Mike Wallace).  I think Chris Moore has some potential, but I'm certainly not counting on him being the/an answer.

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18 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

Over the past 15 years, you could make a case any one of three teams would win the AFC North (and really, most every other NFL division not the AFC East). 

 

Duringthat same time period, generally only one team had a legitimate shot to win the AFC East.

 

What does it hurt to accept that the Pats are buoyed by a garbage division every year? It's institutional advantage. Those are the best kind to have.

I've never denied The Patriots also have the advantage of a weak division. 

But at least every team in the East has managed to make the playoffs recently. Even the Bills, with their drought being broken, at least had a few seasons they were in contention for a spot. Unlike The Browns whom never fail to be eliminated by weeks 9-12. 

The Bengals are 0-7 in the playoffs. So the only 2 teams in the North that have gone anywhere are The Steelers & Ravens.

Hell I'll also give the Jets credit for making consecutive AFC championship games. 

 

The NFC South & NFC East are probably the only 2 divisions where it's almost always a toss up. 

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41 minutes ago, ozzyman314 said:

When I see Steelers or Ravens fans complaining about it, yeah there is.    

 

Just laugh it off then. It's sports. If people want to spend time dissecting and complaining about something so minutiae, let them. And if it really bothers you, just leave that medium. You're really doing a solid job at making this board even further dislike New England fans. "Woe is me" isn't the type of attitude that us fans who has seen our favorite football team win five championships in sixteen years should have.

 

Perspective, ozzyman. Perspective.

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12 minutes ago, ozzyman314 said:

No division with the Cleveland Browns in it can be considered Hard. At best you're playing a 3 team division.  

A 3 team division is a gauntlet in the NFL.  

 

Quote

 Aside from Pittsburgh & Baltimore, what has that division accomplished? Bengals are 0-7 in the playoffs

 

You just used the Bills first playoff appearance in 100 years as evidence that the AFCE isn't that bad while simultaneously waving away the Bengals' 7 appearances. 7 is greater than 1.The Ravens are a regularly tough team, the Steelers never suck, and the Browns have had more competitive teams than you're caring to remember (they went 10-6 once which is better than any season by the Bills this century). This is a laughable argument.

 

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 and the Browns are....the Browns. And no, no division has "their version" of The Browns.

The Bills missed the playoffs 17 straight years, the Jags 10, and the Raiders 13. Yes every division does have and has had their own version of the Browns that the other teams feast upon. 

 

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  When I see Steelers or Ravens fans complaining about it, yeah there is.    

You said you enjoy the irony of the AFC North fans complaints about the AFC East being a pathetically weak division when the AFC North is also pathetically weak. It's not and hasn't been as bad as the AFC East. It's not even close, therefore any irony you're enjoying is fabricated, mythical, delusional, unreal, and/or made up. Cheers. 

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15 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

 

You just used the Bills first playoff appearance in 100 years as evidence that the AFCE isn't that bad while simultaneously waving away the Bengals' 7 appearances. 7 is greater than 1.The Ravens are a regularly tough team, the Steelers never suck, and the Browns have had more competitive teams than you're caring to remember (they went 10-6 once which is better than any season by the Bills this century). This is a laughable argument.

You say that like an 0-7 playoff record means anything. The Browns have had 1 winning season. Even Buffalo as managed more than that. You're right, it is laughable, because the Bills have never been anywhere near as bad as The Browns. 

 

21 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

The Bills missed the playoffs 17 straight years, the Jags 10, and the Raiders 13. Yes every division does have and has had their own version of the Browns that the other teams feast upon.

None of those teams have been as consistently bad as The Browns. 

 

23 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

You said you enjoy the irony of the AFC North fans complaints about the AFC East being a pathetically weak division when the AFC North is also pathetically weak. It's not and hasn't been as bad as the AFC East. It's not even close, therefore any irony you're enjoying is fabricated, mythical, delusional, unreal, and/or made up. Cheers.

Yeah, there's absolutely no irony in AFC North fans complaining about a weak divisions when there's has the 2 of the biggest joke teams in the NFL. :rolleyes:

 

38 minutes ago, Brass said:

 

Just laugh it off then. It's sports. If people want to spend time dissecting and complaining about something so minutiae, let them. And if it really bothers you, just leave that medium. You're really doing a solid job at making this board even further dislike New England fans. "Woe is me" isn't the type of attitude that us fans who has seen our favorite football team win five championships in sixteen years should have.

 

Perspective, ozzyman. Perspective.

I do. I was just pointing out a simple fact. 

Any ""Woe is me" impression people get me is entirely projection. Not one bit of my post has been like that.  

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Hell look at the NFC divisions, the Lions sucked for a long time, the Bucs are in the basement more often then not, the Redskins same, and the Rams went 13 years between playoff berths as well.

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I was at the airport welcoming back the Bills and I have two things to say.

 

Kelvin Benjamin is HUGE. He towered over everyone. Plus he was jumping up and down with his hands up, and your could really tell he was a mammoth of a human being. They need to target him more.

 

For the first time in my life I get to experience a Bills playoff and already exceeded my expectations.

 

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Soooo, since no one else seems to have brought it up yet, thoughts on this years HoF Finalist?

 

Ray Lewis
Brian Urlacher
Edgerrin James
Randy Moss
Terrell Owens
Issac Bruce
John Lynch
Brian Dawkins
Everson Walls
Ty Law
Tony Boselli
Kevin Mawae
Joe Jacoby
Steve Hutchinson
Alan Faneca

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1 hour ago, llfhockey said:

I was at the airport welcoming back the Bills and I have two things to say.

 

Kelvin Benjamin is HUGE. He towered over everyone. Plus he was jumping up and down with his hands up, and your could really tell he was a mammoth of a human being. They need to target him more.

 

For the first time in my life I get to experience a Bills playoff and already exceeded my expectations.

 

 

Enjoy the experience and congratulations to your team. Having a competitive division means more competitive games which means fun.

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1 hour ago, ozzyman314 said:

Soooo, since no one else seems to have brought it up yet, thoughts on this years HoF Finalist?

 

Ray Lewis
Brian Urlacher
Edgerrin James
Randy Moss
Terrell Owens
Issac Bruce
John Lynch
Brian Dawkins
Everson Walls
Ty Law
Tony Boselli
Kevin Mawae
Joe Jacoby
Steve Hutchinson
Alan Faneca

 

Lewis, Urlacher, and Moss should absolutely be locks. I could see them pulling some :censored: with Moss though because of his attitude. It'd be downright stupid, but that's how it goes. 

 

Mawae seems like he should be there, but I dunno about this year. Same with TO. Maybe Ty law, too? Maybe. I dunno. Maybe these names are just recognizable to me and that's why I say yes.

 

John Lynch is a personal want, and I think he'll eventually get there, but I doubt it's this year. 

 

Eggerin James had a sneaky good career but I think he'll miss out as well. Dawkins probably is in this category, too.

 

Isaac Bruce? I loved him as a player, but I can't see that happening. 

 

Tony Boselli? Lol, no.

 

The rest I barely recognize. 

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2 hours ago, ozzyman314 said:

Soooo, since no one else seems to have brought it up yet, thoughts on this years HoF Finalist?

 

Ray Lewis
Brian Urlacher
Edgerrin James
Randy Moss
Terrell Owens

Issac Bruce
John Lynch
Brian Dawkins
Everson Walls
Ty Law
Tony Boselli
Kevin Mawae
Joe Jacoby
Steve Hutchinson
Alan Faneca

 

Feels right to me. 

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40 minutes ago, Bucfan56 said:

John Lynch is a personal want, and I think he'll eventually get there, but I doubt it's this year. 

 

I"m not sure how Brian Dawkins' career was "sneaky good".  It's super tough to evaluate safeties, but he has better numbers (significantly in many cases) than Lynch in every measurable category - INT, FR, Sacks - played in a lot more playoff games and had several big plays on the big stage (albeit no SB ring), and has twice as many first team All Pro selections as Lynch.

 

Lynch was certainly a great player, but I honestly can't think of an objective argument that Dawkins didn't have a more HOF-worthy career.  I can't say anything bad about Lynch, and if he made it I couldn't argue against it, but if any safety is a HOFer, it's Brian Dawkins.

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6 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

I"m not sure how Brian Dawkins' career was "sneaky good".  It's super tough to evaluate safeties, but he has better numbers (significantly in many cases) than Lynch in every measurable category - INT, FR, Sacks - played in a lot more playoff games and had several big plays on the big stage (albeit no SB ring), and has twice as many first team All Pro selections as Lynch.

 

Lynch was certainly a great player, but I honestly can't think of an objective argument that Dawkins didn't have a more HOF-worthy career.  I can't say anything bad about Lynch, and if he made it I couldn't argue against it, but if any safety is a HOFer, it's Brian Dawkins.

 

Yeah I kinda overlooked him in my first run through that list and after double checking I said, "Oh yeah, he's definitely a Hall of Famer, too". I just kinda tossed him under that line in an attempt to be as objective as possible (I originally was only going to do the locks and Lynch, and decided to kinda go further with it at the last second). I didn't look any of this up, and just wasn't totally sure off the top of my head. He's definitely in a rung above Lynch. 

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