First off, I want to apologize to any Broncos fans who’ve been reading this. I was thoroughly surprised by Peyton’s ability after he was inserted into the game against the Chargers today, and he played the second biggest roll in getting you guys to the #1 seed, right behind the Dolphins victory over the Patriots. With that being said, here’s how I think the playoffs and Black Monday are going to go down:
4 teams 5 teams didn’t wait for Black Monday, and now that Mike Pettine has been fired by the Browns and Jim Tomsula has been fired by the 49ers, that leaves several teams still with coaches on the hot seat:
Tom Coughlin: He won’t be fired. Tom Coughlin has too much of a resume to be fired. He will, however, be pressured and forced to retire. The Giants organization has too much respect for him, but they clearly cannot continue forward with him.
Sean Payton: Again, he’s not being fired. He’s probably going to be released from his contract so that he can part ways with the organization for greener pastures.
Jason Garrett: There’s always a surprise on Black Monday or thereabout. This is that surprise. The Cowboys are offensively worse than most college teams when they don’t have Dez or Romo. Jerry Jones is an impatient man. After three seasons of mediocrity, one season that ended abruptly in the Divisional Round, and now a downright embarrassing season, he’s going to be looking for another coach (Sean Payton maybe?).
Mike McCoy: New year, new location (maybe), new coach for the Chargers. This is definitely happening (I will eat my least favorite shirt if it doesn’t).
Chuck Pagano: This pretty much goes without saying.
Coaches that are Safe (for now): Jim Caldwell,
Jim Tomsula, Marvin Lewis, John Harbaugh.
*UPDATE* The previous post was posted a few minutes before Jim Tomsula was fired by the 49ers. It has been updated appropriately.
Playoffs: After all the hype, all the exciting wins, depressing losses and whatever the hell this was, the playoffs are finally here. What do we have in store for us? Well…
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: I want to apologize to both teams right now. Last week I said the Steelers could easily make the Super Bowl and that the Bengals didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell at winning. Yeah. Deangello Williams had something to say about that by injuring his ankle. Now, with basically their running game in tatters, the Steelers are looking more one dimensional, and they don’t need to ask the Michigan State football team to understand that’s bad news. This game has become so much more interesting, and it gives Cincinnati a chance to finally get rid of those demons that really started getting going 10 years ago in against (who else?) the Steelers. With Deangello this is a different tune. But he’s likely out this week, which means he’ll have all offseason to get healthy.
Bengals: 24, Steelers: 14
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans: The Chiefs are easily the hottest team in the entire country, with the Texans riding high themselves. It’ll be a match of Kansas City’s offense against a very strong Texans defense. Unfortunately for the Texans, the Chiefs have a passing game this year, and the Chiefs defense is an absolute monster. The Texans season began with a loss at home to the Chiefs, and it will end with a loss to the Chiefs at home.
Chiefs: 27, Texans: 13
The results of those two games leads to an interesting Divisional Round: A depleted New England Patriots squad against a Bengals team flirting with destiny and a chance for Peyton Manning to redeem himself against a Chiefs team that sent him to the bench a few weeks ago. But the analysis of whatever Divisional Round matchup actually happens has to wait until next week. Tomorrow I’ll reflect on the actual results of Black Monday and give my take on the NFC Playoffs.