It seems like just yesterday the NFL lockout had come to an end and we were gearing up for training camp, the preseason and ultimately the start of Week 1 of the 2011 NFL regular season—but that has all come and gone.
Right now, the only thing that we have left is the NFL playoffs, as Week 17 is now over.
Before we jump right into the playoffs, let's take a look back at the top 50 things that we learned from the 2011 NFL season.
*Note: Each team will have at least one slide dedicated to them.
Ryan Fitzpatrick started off 2011 in a productive fashion, as he was rewarded with a seven-year contract with the Buffalo Bills worth $62.195 million—however, since signing the contract back on October 28, Fitzpatrick's performance took a sudden dip.
Fitzpatrick finished 2011 with a mediocre 79.1 quarterback rating while throwing 24 touchdowns and an embarrassing 23 interceptions.
Reggie Bush had an incredible season in his first year as a Miami Dolphin.
Bush played in all 16 games and he accumulated 1,086 rushing yards while averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scoring a combined seven touchdowns.
Tom Brady is like a fine wine—he gets better with age.
Brady may not win the 2011 NFL MVP award like he did a year ago, but he played pretty damn well for the New England Patriots this season. Brady finished 2011 with 39 touchdowns while accumulating a whopping 5,235 passing yards and posting a 105.6 quarterback rating.
Drew Brees may hold the record for most passing yards in a single season, but Tom Brady came really close to tying him.
Brady smashed Dan Marino's record of 5,084 passing yards in a single season as Brady finished 2011 with 5,235 total passing yards.
The New England Patriots wrapped up their 2011 season with a 42-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills to improve to a 13-3 record.
With that 13-3 record, the Patriots have clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC—which means that the conference will have to go through Foxborough.
For the first time in the Rex Ryan era, the New York Jets will not be making the playoffs.
With their Week 17 loss against the Miami Dolphins, the Jets finished 2011 with an 8-8 record and do not qualify for the postseason.
Mark Sanchez is the only thing that is holding back the New York Jets from making it deep in the playoffs—he is not the answer for the Jets.
Sanchez threw three interceptions in the team's must-win game against the Miami Dolphins, as they fell short, 19-17.
Sanchez finished his third year in the NFL with a 78.2 quarterback rating while throwing 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
The Baltimore Ravens may be 12-4 and have the No. 2 seed in the AFC, but their quarterback is having an absolutely dreadful season.
Joe Flacco is still playing like a rookie, as he finished 2011 with a quarterback rating of 79 while completing only 56.8 percent of his passes.
Who would have thought this? No Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens—but the Cincinnati Bengals improve from a year ago and make the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
Marvin Lewis may not win Coach of the Year, but he definitely deserves some recognition.
Andy Dalton and A.J. Green had one hell of a rookie season together, as they were two of the biggest reasons why the Cincinnati Bengals are going to be playing in the playoffs.
Dalton finished 2011 with an 81.8 quarterback rating while Green reeled in 63 passes for 1,031 yards and seven touchdowns.
A 4-12 record is pretty pathetic.
Pat Shurmur and the Cleveland Browns have a lot to work on if they want to make some improvements for the 2012 season.
Rashard Mendenhall left Sunday's season finale against the Cleveland Browns with an apparent right knee injury.
As of right now, sources have indicated that Mendenhall could very well have torn his ACL.
Arian Foster led the NFL in rushing yards a year ago and he certainly proved that he's the real deal in 2011.
Foster may not have run for the most yards in 2011, but he accumulated 1,224 yards this season while punching in 10 touchdowns in only 13 games this season.
Gary Kubiak and the Houston Texans had one hell of a 2011 season. They finished with a 10-6 record and won the AFC South despite losing quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart.
The Texans will now play host to the Cincinnati Bengals next week in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.
The Indianapolis Colts finished their putrid 2011 season without Peyton Manning with an embarrassing 2-14 record—which means that the Colts have the top pick in next year's draft.
With that pick, the Colts will likely pick Standford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Blaine Gabbert had a rough rookie season.
Gabbert played in 15 games this season, as he started 14 of them, and he finished with 12 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions while recording an embarrassing 65.4 quarterback rating and completing only 50.8 percent of his passes.
Mike Munchak had a fantastic rookie season as head coach of the Tennessee Titans and his team finished with a 9-7 record and fell just short of the playoffs.
Entering 2012, the Titans will definitely have a chance to make a run for the playoffs, as long as they keep improving.
Matt Hasselbeck's career looked to be all but over with the Seattle Seahawks but he really came on strong in 2011 with the Tennessee Titans.
Hasselbeck finished the season with an impressive 82.4 quarterback rating while throwing 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Tim Tebow took over as the team's starting quarterback when the Denver Broncos were 1-4—he then led the team to an 8-8 record, which was good enough for winning the AFC West.
It's Tebow time!
Tim Tebow is now 9-6 as a starter and he's a proven winner by leading the Broncos to the playoffs.
Tebow posted a 77.9 quarterback rating this season with 12 touchdowns in the air and six touchdowns on the ground while turning the ball over only 10 times.
Romeo Crennel has been the Kansas City Chiefs interim head coach for the last three weeks of the season after the team fired Todd Haley.
Crennel led his team to an improbable victory over the once-undefeated Green Bay Packers and against the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos.
The Oakland Raiders had a real chance to make some noise in 2011 but they finished with an 8-8 record for the second-straight season.
All season long I had been doubting the Raiders, and they finally proved me right by missing out on the playoffs.
Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are such a talented team, but they failed to finish with a winning record in 2011 and did not qualify for the playoffs.
It's time to start thinking about the Chargers—can this core group of talented players actually win? I don't think so.
If the San Diego Chargers do not fire Norv Turner, then I will seriously question the rationale of general manager A.J. Smith.
Turner needs to be fired. No questions asked.
Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and the New York Giants are going to the playoffs.
The Giants won the NFC East with their impressive 31-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
They have a tough matchup with the Atlanta Falcons next weekend at the Meadowlands.
The Dallas Cowboys have so much talent but they cannot find ways to win consistently—they're frauds.
The Cowboys had a perfect chance to prove themselves and make the playoffs this past Sunday night, but they fell short against the New York Giants, 31-14.
So much for being the "Dream Team." The 2011 season did not live up to the hype for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Michael Vick and the Eagles finished 2011 with a very average 8-8 record.
There is no reason why this team could not make the playoffs this season.
If I'm a Washington Redskins fan, I am praying to God that Mike Shanahan drafts Robert Griffin III.
Assuming that the Indianapolis Colts will pick Andrew Luck with the top pick, that means RG3 could very well fall to the 'Skins.
For the first time since 1999, the Detroit Lions are going to the playoffs—can you believe it?
The Lions posted a 10-6 record and clinched a playoff berth in 2011.
Matthew Stafford season had a tremendous season in 2011.
Stafford played in all 16 games and posted an impressive 97.2 quarterback rating while throwing 41 touchdowns and completing 63.5 percent of his passes.
Stafford may be young but he plays like a seasoned veteran.
The Green Bay Packers had one of the most impressive seasons in NFL history and finished with a 15-1 record.
The Packers are the top seed in the NFC and will have home-field advantage throughout the entire postseason.
Aaron Rodgers had one of the greatest seasons to be ever played by a quarterback.
Rodgers posted a 122.5 quarterback rating while throwing 45 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
All in all, Rodgers was the NFL's MVP for 2011.
Matt Flynn proved that he can be a legitimate starter at the NFL in the Green Bay Packers' incredible 45-41 victory over the Detroit Lions.
In that game, Flynn broke two franchise records, as he threw for six touchdowns and a remarkable 480 yards.
There is doubt in my mind that Flynn can be a starting quarterback at the NFL level.
At times, Christian Ponder looked pretty damn promising but then there were times that the rookie out of Florida State played like a rookie.
Ponder finished 2011 with 13 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions while posting a 70.5 quarterback rating.
He certainly has a lot of work to do entering 2012.
Julio Jones may have been a rookie in 2011, but he played at a very high level for the Atlanta Falcons.
Jones reeled in 54 receptions for a whopping 959 yards and scoring eight total touchdowns.
Forget Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder—Cam Newton is the NFL's next great quarterback.
Newton finished 2011 with an impressive 84.5 quarterback rating while throwing 21 touchdowns and running in 14 touchdowns on the ground.
The New Orleans may have won the NFC South, but they fell short of a first-round bye.
The Saints will play host for the Detroit Lions next weekend.
5,084 passing yards? That's no problem for Drew Brees.
Brees finished 2011 with a whopping 5,476 passing yards, as he shattered Dan Marino's single-season passing record which was held ever since 1984.
A year ago, Josh Freeman threw for 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions but totally fell apart in 2011.
Freeman posted a 74.9 quarterback rating while throwing 14 touchdowns and an embarrassing 19 interceptions.
When a team loses 10 games in a row, the head coach must go.
Sorry, Raheem Morris.
Kevin Kolb was pathetic in 2011, he really was.
Kolb was brought to be the franchise quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals but was absolutely dreadful. Kolb played in only nine games this season, as he completed just 57.7 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
2011 was a phenomenal season for Jim Harbaugh, Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers, as they posted a 13-3 record which was good enough to clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Did anyone really think that the 49ers would have been this good in 2011?
There is no question about it: the San Francisco 49ers have the best defense in the NFL.
The 49ers finished 2011 allowing only three rushing touchdowns and only one 100-yard rusher—how incredible is that?
Jim Harbaugh has proven that he's a winner in his first season as head coach at the NFL level.
Harbaugh led his San Francisco 49ers to an incredible turnaround from last year.
Marshawn Lynch really came alive with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 as the team's lone offensive weapon.
Lynch ran for 1,118 yards while averaging 4.2 yards per carry and scoring 12 touchdowns.
Debate it all you want, but I firmly believe that Lynch is one of the best running backs in the game today.
Tarvaris Jackson is not the answer for the Seattle Seahawks—he is not a legitimate starting quarterback.
T-Jax finished 2011 with a 79.5 quarterback rating while completing only 60.2 percent of his passes and throwing 13 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions.
Sam Bradford looked absolutely awful in 2011.
Bradford played in only 10 games this season for the St. Louis Rams, as he accumulated 2,164 passing yards, six touchdowns, six interceptions and a 70.5 quarterback rating.
It's hard to believe that this is the same quarterback that won Offensive Rookie of the Year a year ago.