The 2008 NFL season is over.
Congratulations to Chad Pennington on winning the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins. I was reminded watching the game of the Jets' last division championship, which they clinched on the final day of the 2002 season, when Pennington beat the Packers (led by quarterback Brett Favre) at the Meadowlands. I thought that was kind of funny. Anyway, it couldn't happen to a better guy. Of course, Pennington handled it with class...though I wouldn't have blamed him if he had flipped off the crowd on his way off the field. I hope he wins the Super Bowl.
Before we get to the playoffs this week, though, a look at the week's final season:
BEST GAME OF WEEK 17: A couple of games came down to a final field goal - but all involved teams that had most everything wrapped up. I guess the Panthers-Saints goes as the best, because the Panthers earned themselves a bye with the win, after the Saints came back in a huge way in the game, and Carolina still managed to pull off a last-second win.
BEST PERFORMANCE OF WEEK 17: The Ravens went out and took care of business - I'll give the nod to either Joe Flacco or Le'Ron McClain - Flacco had 297 yards passing, McClain had 70 yards rushing and scored twice.
WORST PERFORMANCE OF WEEK 17: The Dallas Cowboys laid an absolute egg against the Eagles with everything on the line. (The Broncos didn't play much better controlling their own destiny, nor did the Buccaneers, but the Cowboys were the worst.) The Eagles did a nice job, but the Cowboys did worse than the Eagles did well.
BEST GAME IN PLAYOFFS: Next week I think the best matchup might be Eagles-Vikings, though there's something intriguing about that Chargers-Colts game too. I think the Chargers have the potential to be the Colts of two years ago - a very average regular season, getting hot at the right time and making their championship run. This is the same team, after all, that has been a playoff threat then disappointment in recent years - maybe this is the year they turn it around. Not that I want them to...but it might happen.
BEST PERFORMANCE PREDICTED IN PLAYOFFS: There's not much here to predict - this prediction stuff is all over (though I will pick playoff games again starting Friday/Saturday). I will say this though - I'm in a playoff player pool, where you pick players with the hope that they get lots of points and go deep into the playoffs. My friend who I'm doing it with and I were talking about who would be a good quarterback pick, because there's really no obvious choice, the way Kurt Warner has fallen apart and with no other clear cut great quarterback out there this year. It occurred to me this weekend that Matt Ryan might be the choice - because I bet Atlanta upsets Arizona next week, and he puts up good numbers.
-Last Week: I said a 24-10 win by the Dolphins (off by 7 points there), on a 19-23, 279-yard day, 1 throwing, 1 rushing touchdown for Chad Pennington. He was 22-30 for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. Just another solid Pennington day...and my prediction was close enough for me.
**UPDATE** - Eric Mangini has just been fired by the Jets. I would have fired him last week, after the Seahawks loss, but that was totally reactive. After what I read about Woody Johnson (Jets owner) this morning, I suspect that this was a reactionary move. Maybe they should have taken a week to cool off. I don't love the idea of starting over with a new coach. I just hope a replacement is named quickly...and I hope the other reports recently that Brett Favre did not like playing for Mangini did not factor into this decision.
So here we are again, the Jets looking for another head coach. Same old Jets.