EL BARRIO, LA BRONX – It is a brand new year so we should look forward right? January is after all, named after Janus, the Roman god with two heads, one to look forward, one to look back. We look forward to tomorrow and the final week of NFL football games. Yet as yours truly looks at this year’s NFL season ending stories he has an eerie sense of deja vu all over again.
Big Game for Jets: It’s week 17 and the Jets need to win and they’re in. The playoffs that is. As a Jets fan, I want to thank FSA for his support earlier in the week. Jets fans have seen their team stumble in must win games so often, we are hesitant about getting too excited for games like Sunday’s tilt against blowhard Rex Ryan and the Bills. Here are some other sub-plots surrounding this game that are loaded with history and/or irony.
Does Todd Bowles remind anyone else of one time Super Bowl -winning coach Tony Dungy? A defense-first coach that shows as much emotion as a dead moth. Bowles never seems happy or down, annoyed or fired up. He is even-Steven and his team seems to be enjoying the huge difference from ahem… last year’s coach.
The Jets MVP this season is IK Enemkpali, the reserve defensive end whose punch broke Geno Smith‘s jaw, disabling him for 6 weeks, and made Ryan Fitzpatrick the team’s starting quarterback.Jets QB Fitzpatrick was mostly Da Bills QB from 2009- 2012. His coach from 2010-2012 was none other than Jets Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey. Now the two are back in Buffalo with the visiting Jets and everything on the line.
College coaches can’t cut it in the NFL: Bloody Monday is the Monday after the last regular season game when hot-seated coaches are given their pink slips. The Philadelphia Eagles were so excited about the idea of firing Chip Kelly, they pulled the trigger on the father of modern football a week early. The ego driven Kelly wanted the world to know that it is his system and play calling that made all of his teams successful. His players are interchangeable. Kelly was enticed to leave the comforts of the University of Oregon by being given full control of the Eagles or as Bill Parcells once said, “if I’m going to cook the meal, I want to be able to choose the ingredients too” and be in charge of player personnel decisions. So he got rid of DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles while bringing in Sam Bradford, overpaying DeMarco Murray and spending money on Bryon Maxwell like he was a shutdown corner.
A mediocre team will make the playoffs: Each of the recent seasons the NFL has seen one of its teams qualify for the playoffs with either a 7-9 or 8-8 record winning a division. A few years back the Seahawks won the NFC west with a 7-9 record and hosted a playoff game! The ‘Hawks won that game due to home field advantage as a division winner, but did they deserve to even be there at all? Hell no! The teams with better W-L records should get the home game. Instead, Washington will host a home game as will either Houston at 8-7 or Indy at 7-8, who are “battling it out” for the AFC South title. The 10 win Jets will need to match the record of AFC West champion, Denver/KC and possibly the AFC Central champion Cincinnati just to make the playoffs and go on the road. Postseason “seeding” needs to be fixed ASAP by the NFL.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. As such, comeback tomorrow to hear from our own, Cheesy Bruin!