Did the Atlanta Falcons really belong in the playoffs?
It's hard to say yes since they got dismantled so thoroughly by the New York Giants in their 24-2 loss on wild-card weekend. In their last two playoff games, the Falcons have been outscored 72-23, which is just embarrassing numbers for an NFL team.
Despite this being the Falcons' best four-year stretch in franchise history, they are 0-3 in the playoffs under coach Mike Smith.
This was clearly a weaker year for the Falcons, who were very lucky to get to 10-6, with two of those losses blowouts to the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints.
I had predicted an 11-5 season for the Falcons with an identical ending, but they blew it in the first round of playoffs. With a growing reputation as chokers, the Falcons desperately need to win at least one playoff game next year.
Even during the lockout, I was very enthralled with the New Orleans Saints and their Super Bowl chances. I predicted a 14-2 season and thought very carefully about picking the Saints to win the Super Bowl.
At 13-3 and NFC South champions, they did not disappoint me.
Ultimately I didn't pick them, although now I wouldn't be surprised at all if they win. Drew Brees has a good case for best quarterback in the league with an NFL record 5,476 yards while also leading the league in completion percentage (71.2), completions (468) and touchdowns (46.)
Their offense regularly tops 40 points a game at home, however my reason for doubting them is the fact they will likely be playing on the road from here on out.
In my defense, no one saw Cam Newton's rookie year coming. His amazing play, including a quarterback-record 14 rushing touchdowns, makes the Panthers one of the most exciting 6-10 teams in recent memory.
Of course their defense truly stinks and likely if they had stayed with Jimmy Clausen at quarterback, the Panthers would have been closer to 3-13 like I predicted. Their defense will likely need to improve at least a little bit for them to be playoff contenders.
But then again, when the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots can get first-round byes with terrible defensive rankings, maybe defense isn't so important after all.
It seems so long ago but before this NFL season there was a lot of people who liked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They seemed to be an up-and-coming team that was ready to capitalize on their surprising 10-6 season and possibly do even better.
I was doubtful all along, thinking that the Bucs would finish 9-7 or possibly even worse thanks to a harder schedule this year.
Well, I was right about them not being as good, but I was nowhere near right about how bad the Buccaneers were going to be this year. A 10-game losing streak to close out the season brought them down to 4-12 and has cast major doubts about this team's future.