The 2011 NFL regular season is officially over.
For some teams this comes as a relief, as it means no more losing, no more heartbreaks (Colts, Rams, Dolphins and Redskins). For other teams it means time to prepare for the playoffs.
If you're a fan of any of the playoff teams, congratulations (except for Broncos fans, I'll explain later in this piece).
A lot of teams, though, leave 2011 with regret. Teams that showed so much promise either before the season or at the beginning of the season find themselves going home getting ready to fire a head coach, make a run for Peyton Manning, or retooling their team through the draft and free agency. If you're the New York Jets, you're probably doing all of the above.
Some teams this week got a more advantageous playoff seeding, some coaches were able to keep their jobs.
For other teams, they either missed the playoffs or their coaches just wrote their own pink slip. Here we'll look at the teams that won and the teams that lost, and some of it has nothing to do with the final results on the scoreboard.
So why have 18? Simple, nine of each. Why nine of each? Look at the picture.
In a bittersweet way, Miami Dolphins fans are winners and losers. We're winners because we got to see Jason Taylor play for 13 out of his 15 seasons in the NFL, and he got to go out on top in a victory over the hated New York Jets (the team he played for last season), which knocked the Jets out of the playoffs.
However, we're losers because we're still a 6-10 team that's unsure of our quarterback and head coach and will likely lose some popular players due to the cap next season.
But let's keep it positive—I chose 18 as a tribute to Jason Taylor, Miami's No. 99. Hopefully, Miami will do the right thing and retire his (and his brother-in-law Zack Thomas') numbers next season and induct them into the ring of honor.
And, hopefully, it's against the Norv Turner-Peyton Manning-led New York Jets.
Now on to the list.