Photo credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Well, shit. You don’t want to play them. Aaron Rodgers has shown no ill-effects of dating bonafide sex fiend Sloan Sabbith (careful). Hell, she’s played such an important role in all of this that she’s cracked his Google related searches:
One of these things just doesn’t belong here
As if his 28 touchdowns, three interceptions, 120.1 quarterback rating, boyish good looks, approachable everyman demeanor and deadpan acting skills weren’t enough to make you hate that you can’t hate him, just take a look at the adorable images of him and Munn on Google– they love each other!
Damn you, Rodgers! Why must you be so perfect?
I wanted so bad to disdain him on Sunday, but I just couldn’t do it. He seems to have the same effect on those around him as a warm summer’s day visit to a waterpark, and he could disarm a Muslim radical simply by showing up in his sideline beanie and smiling:
Beyond that, the Packers have two outstanding wide receivers, a monster of a running back, and a defense that I guess is pretty good?* They’re beatable on the road, but if the road to the Super Bowl goes through Green Bay, forget about it.
*It’s hard to tell since the Packers have outscored opponents 188-61 at home this season, allowing the defense to go into an Internal Prevent— which needs to be the name of Clay Matthews’ memoirs.
As much as I immediately feel safe upon the sight of Rodgers, I want to rage-kick small zoo animals every time I see Bruce Arians, his really stupid glasses and hipster press conference hat. It’s like he can’t make up his mind between being a football coach and an ornithologist. I’m just waiting for him to point out all the scientific inaccuracies of his team’s logo during an impromptu media scrum. THE NORTHERN CARDINAL HAS INSET EYES AND A TAPERED BEAK! WHAT THE FUCK WITH THIS SCOWL?!?! But beyond that oddity and the fact that Carson Palmer is done for the season, it’s hard to argue with 9-1 and wins over the 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys and Lions.
That said, things get even tougher for the Cardinals from here on out: Seahawks (twice), Chiefs, and 49ers again. They’re going to lose at least two of those games, and they have to play in St. Louis, where the inconsistent (but dangerous!) Rams have beaten both the Seahawks and Broncos. As of now the Cardinals deserve a top-two spot, but they are shaping up to be 2014’s Chiefs— peaking (beaking?!) too early. The early bird might not get this worm.
Other than the Packers, I don’t see a team in the NFC that is clearly better than the Eagles. If you watch enough RedZone, you know that there is a lot of shit in the NFL, and particularly in the NFC. Every team has holes. The Eagles, though not perfect, have no more than anyone else. The losses to the 49ers and Cardinals were coin flips. They win those games handily at home. Even with a terrible offensive effort in San Fran, they came within three yards and a decent play call of winning the game. Everyone wants to write off the special teams play as an unreliable fluke, but how many punts do they have to block or return before people start realizing that you can basically count on one game-changing play per game from the unit?
The Eagles’ biggest problem at the moment is that they lose the literal coin flips to the Packers, 49ers and Cardinals when it comes to seeding. But, assuming the Cowboys are about to hit a wall (I think so), the Eagles have a fairly easy remaining schedule: Titans, Cowboys (twice), Seahawks, Redskins and Giants. Anything less than 4-2 (which would leave them with an 11-5 record) would be a huge disappointment.
It feels like every year the Lions are supposed to be good, supposed to be contenders. But this is how they’ve finished the last two seasons, stretches that they’ve entered at 6-3 and 4-4, respectively:
By my count, that’s a 1-14 record in their final 15 games over the last two seasons combined. And right on cue this year, Week 11, they managed a measly six points against the Cardinals. That sound you hear is Lions fans conversing with Ned Ryerson: