Finally we have arrived. The 2017 postseason is here. The talking points for the next 5 days will be endless. Wildcard Weekend will be absolute fire. So much intrigue. And yet there is so much more to tackle when it comes to many of the teams that didn’t actually qualify for the postseason. There are eight newcomers to the playoff dance in comparison to last season. Parity was definitely real this season. So cheers to our last Burning 7 column of the 2017 NFL regular season.
1. If I’m an Eagles fan I would be scared shitless heading into the playoffs.
A few weeks my initial concern which in a three game stretch from the time QB Carson Wentz was declared done for the season with a town ACL, their defense had given up 24, 35 and 29 points between Weeks 13-15. But in Week 16 and 17 weeks it’s been their offense that has to scare Philly fans entering the postseason. Nick Foles has not look sharp and was benched in the 2nd quarter Sunday for backup Nate Sudfield as they were shut out at home by the Dallas Cowboys who were playing solely for pride.
If I’m a NFC Wildcard team, I am salivating for the opportunity to play Philadelphia on divisional weekend. The Eagles have limped to the finish line.
2. Despite 0-16 season, Hue Jackson will be back as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
While there are some coaches who are likely to lose their jobs like for example Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who finished the season with a 9-7 record, Jackson will keep his job despite going 0-16 this season and winning only a single game in his entire two year tenure with the Cleveland Browns.
Now I’m not suggesting he should get fired. Im just pointing out at the weirdness of it all. Next year has to be make or break season for Hue. They enter the 2018 NFL Draft with five picks in the first two rounds. No excuses.
3. The Vikings are my favorite to win the NFC in route to hosting the Super Bowl.
When you consider the Eagles losing Carson Wentz for the season and limping into the playoffs, the Saints, Panthers and Falcons all showing major inconsistency plus beating the Rams head to head, there’s no doubt Minnesota is the favorite and the team playing the most consistent entering the playoffs. Also as if they needed extra motivation, this years Super Bowl will be played in.....you guessed it.....Minnesota.
4. Will Eli Manning be back in New York in 2018?
My gut says yes.
Newly placed General Manager David Gettleman has already hinted that he plans on rolling with Eli as his quarterback so long as he is capable of playing at a high level. As a Giants fan myself, I have so many opinions on how to approach this offseason but first priority should be the Giants gutting their roster of malcontents **coughEliApplecough** and instilling some new blood and leadership up and down that roster. Preferably I would like Eli Manning to finish his career in New York. But at this point everything is in the air.
5. Kirk Cousins future in Washington.
I’ve long said throughout the season Kirk Cousins should give the Redskins front office the finger and bolt, regardless of what they offer him. There’s honestly no excuse how Washington, given how dry the quarterback market was last offseason did not give Cousins an extension. To me it was an insult to a guy who at the very least brought some stability to the franchise.
So basically here’s the deal....Washington was not bad enough this year to garner a top tier draft pick to get a quarterback yet by franchising Kirk Cousins the last two off-season’s thus alienating him. Yeah the Washington Redskins are not the brightest. And now they are about to lose Cousins for nothing. Good luck with Colt McCoy.
6. I am ecstatic for the Buffalo Bills.
For the first time in 18 years the Buffalo Bills are in the postseason. Think about it. The last the Bills played meaningful January football:
•I just finished high school a few months before.
•Santana’s “Smooth” was the #1 song in America.
•Bill Clinton was still President Of the United States.
Those are just a few things. I am personal friends with a bunch of #BillsMafia faithful and let me tell you the Bills fanbase is some of the most loyal and faithful in the NFL. Beyond happy for this fanbase. They deserve this.
7. Over/Under on coaches being either fired, retired and/or traded I put at 7.5. Over is the bet
So far as of this writing we have two casualties in Chuck Pagano who was finally let go in Indianapolis and Jack Del Rio with Oakland with the likelihood of Jon Gruden returning to coaching. Ben McAdoo was also let go in New York a few weeks ago.
Still waiting word on Jim Caldwell (Detroit), Dirk Kouetter (Tampa Bay), John Fox (Chicago), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati), Vance Joseph (Denver).
Of course there is always a surprise as well. Black Monday will be interesting.