I'll do this via the process of elimination. We have 32 teams, and we need to get down to 12. And then from 12 we need to get ourselves down to one. I'll keep this fast paced and conversational.
Out via the process of a complete mess.
We've never had an offseason where we have had three offensive coordinators get fired in the preseason. And as such? You can knock out Tampa Bay, Buffalo, and Kansas City from the proceedings. With the ham-fisted handling of the Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall situations, Denver gets knocked out. And Oakland? Oakland is Oakland. Any year they aren't drafting in the top 10 is a surprise.
Out via the process of a partial mess.
With the insane behavior of Michael Crabtree and his tag team partner Eugene Parker? San Fransisco is out. The Hard Knocks curse + Andre Smith + The 6th round pick who once punched out a coach equals Cincinnati is out. Detroit will be better, but the copycat teams in the NFL? They do not bring as much success and off of an 0-16 record, the talent level doesn't skyrocket. Especially in the NFC North.
Out via strengthened schedules?
You can call the failings of Arizona as a by-product of a dual curse. (Madden and Super Bowl loser). And considering that surprise teams rarely have a good encore season? You can use that to knock out Miami and Atlanta. And I don't think we're going to see Baltimore and Tennessee make return trips.
Out because their quarterback is an old man/useless/both?
Minnesota. There are two teams with a real buzz to them, and neither one of them has a 40 year old man with a torn bicep. Houston? Matt Schaub is someone who can only stay upright for 10 to 12 games. And with Rex Grossman as your back-up? It's bad mojo. St. Louis is out because it's Marc Bulger as their starter and nobody rightfully believes in Kyle Boller. And Carolina has a worse defense to go with Jake Delhomme. And despite me stupidly thinking that they could actually make a deep run, I can't pull the trigger on Cleveland. And Jason Campbell, I like him, but he's in the wrong situation to make his way in the world, so goodbye Washington.
Just missing the playoffs?
Dallas. Because fuck them.
So here's our 12 playoff teams.
3. San Diego
4. New England
6. NY Jets
1. New York Giants
2. Green Bay
3. New Orleans
Wild Card Weekend?
New England beats the Jets, on account of them putting up a number that the Jets can't match.
San Diego beats Jacksonville, on account of them being able to throw the ball.
New Orleans beats Philadelphia in the game of the weekend.
Chicago beats Seattle. Matt Forte comes up strong.
Indianapolis beats New England. Bob Sanders is healthy. It decides things.
San Diego beats Pittsburgh. Because Jesus owes Phillip Rivers.
The Giants beat Chicago in the Lee Marvin game of the divisional round.
Green Bay beats New Orelans in the 1980's WAC game in the second round. 45-31. Yeah.
Indianapolis beats San Diego.
And...here we go. Green Bay wins because the way Eli Manning won the Super Bowl is because he played the five greatest weeks of his life to get there and then the defense took over. The Giants defense isn't as good. And the Packers have more offensive weapons. Is not a homer pick.
Green Bay 35
Though the buzz on the Packers makes me wince a little. I am excited.