By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
8: Lost in the divisional round
1: Lost in the conference title game
1: Won the Super Bowl
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I firmly believe taking the under on both of last year's Super Bowl teams is, at worst, a split scenario, and feel good enough to give both out here.
NEW YORK JETS UNDER 6 wins (-105) –
Since about the time the Hard Knocks cameras showed up at Jets camp a few years ago, it's been a circus in New York. (Truth be told, it may have been a circus longer than that, but Hard Knocks gave us the pictures to prove it.) The last two years have spiraled wildly out of control for head coach Rex Ryan, from the boulder sized Mark Sanchez contract extension they've tied to the franchise's ankles, to the disastrous signing of Tim Tebow, to Rex's wife's foot fetish videos, to the most recent episode where he had a verbal spat over his inserting Sanchez into a preseason game behind the third team offensive line –- honestly, I could keep going. And going. And going. Just know, that the Jets are a mess, and you could let them add 2013 and 2014 together and they may not get to six wins.
OAKLAND RAIDERS UNDER 6 wins (-105) –
It's been a couple years now since the late Raiders owner Al Davis passed away, but his legacy lives on in a black and silver sea of ill-advised moves, questionable signings and off-the-field gaffes. The most notable of them this offseason was the trade with Seattle for Matt Flynn, who is best known for backing up Aaron Rodgers, parlaying two starts into a big-money free agent deal with Seattle where he backed up Russell Wilson, and then being moved to Oakland, where it appears he will back up Terrelle Pryor. (Matt Flynn is officially the Barry Horowitz of the NFL, jobber to young stars league wide!) I like to think that somewhere Al Davis is still alive, likely locked in a tower with blood spattered bandages wrapped all around the charred remains where a face once existed, kind of like Robert the Bruce's old man in Braveheart, running the Raiders through a puppet regime while quietly spending his own life insurance money playing online poker or some shit. It's honestly the most feasible explanation for some of the Raiders's moves the last two years.
I rarely comment online. It all goes out with the tide of ignorance. But this was a very pleasurable article to read, though less than orgasmic. 11-5 sounds about right, barring widespread or catastrophic injuries.
I do think your patience chart is a little unfair to McNair, because Kubiak/Schaub were trying to take an expansion team first to break-even, then to playoff contenders, which they have done. The other coach/quarterback combinations you compare them to are all with established and successful franchises. Also, all those yards Schaub racked up in 2009 and 2010 would not have been meaningless if the Texans defense had not blown so many second half leads. The 2010 team could very easily have been 10-6 instead of 6-10, which is probably why Kubiak kept his job. It was only after Arian Foster and Wade Phillips arrived that Kubiak went more to the ball-control offense, though it does seem obvious that he is more comfortable with this type of game plan.
Contract or no contract, the pressure is on Schaub this year far more than any other player, and everybody including Schaub knows it. He's not going to get far on foot, and he's not Brady or Rodgers, but I think he's good enough. For the entire time Schaub has been here, the bigger problem has been on the other side of the line, even including the games at the end of last year when Schaub was really bad. It wasn't Schaub who put em in the hole in New England, it was the defense. The defense is way better now than it was three years ago, and with Cushing back and (we can hope) the impact of Ed Reed, it should be better than it was last year. But as you point out, they still need to prove they can beat the Superbowl quarterbacks -- there are only four that are head and shoulders above the rest and we all know who they are -- in a big game. Schaub and Kubiak can maybe win a regular season shoot-out against San Diego or Baltimore, or even Seattle or San Francisco, though it's unlikely. But to beat New England or Denver in the play-offs, and that is where the road to the Superbowl will most likely lead at 11-5, the defense has to hold them to three TDs and a field goal, or less.
If all the key pieces are healthy, who's to say it can't be done?
30-27 Texans, AFC champs.
(Then the Niners will pitch a virtual shut out in the Superbowl, sort of like Astros going down 4-0 in the World Series...)
The problem here is Gary Kubiak emotionally invested in an average QB that reminded him of himself back when he was riding the pine behind John Elway. Bob McNair emotionally invested in Kubiak in an almost father/son way. What Kubiak is doing is running the old Broncos offense with a QB closer to Bernie Kosar than John Elway. What makes matters worse is if Kubiak is fired, good old horse trader/thief Bum Phillips will amble into McNair's office and humbly suggest Wade will be "good" for the Texans. Yep, things are pretty bleak in H-town.
" ...and Tim Tebow is a bust." !!! OMG, the perfect line, fits the blackjack analogy and everything. It was right there, a bird's nest on the ground. Aaargh!
hey, man. cheer up! season has not started yet. it's gonna be fun to watch whatever happens. hope springs eternal!