TULSA - We made it folks. A full 17 weeks of the National Football League. And guess who went 12-4 last week?
The same guy that went 5-11 the week prior.
Some thoughts about the season as we head into the playoffs.
Replacement refs were not as bad as they were made out to be, especially after watching the real guys make some incredibly inexcusable mistakes.
Talk about parity. Only 15 of the 32 squads are above .500 with one week to go. Just goes to show this playoff expansion talk is ridiculous.
Adrian Peterson proved that he really is a freak athlete. I don't care how advanced the medical profession has become, how great the doctors are, no human being should be able to do what he is doing less than a year after major knee surgery. He needs 204 yards to pass Eric Dickerson's rushing record. Amazing.
Rumors of Peyton Manning being done were greatly exaggerated, but who knew he would be an MVP candidate after missing last year?
How about those Colts (and that transition!)? Have we ever seen a team recover the way this team has? An incredible story magnified by the return of Chuck Pagano.
Pro Bowlers have been named. Award season's here.
Here's some awards of my own, which I will now call "The 2012 Big Al-wards".
Biggest disappointment: Detroit Lions. Dirtiest team in the league got theirs.
Biggest surprise: A tie between the Colts and Seahawks, but Pete Carroll makes me swing toward Indianapolis.
Best story: Colts
Overrated story of the year: Jets QB soap opera. And I am not blaming Tim Tebow for this one. Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the entire Jets outfit is an embarrassment to the NFL.
Make it through the season without a mishap award: Dez Bryant. So far so good.
Rookie of the year: RG-3
Coach of the year: Chuck Pagano
Worst coach of the year: Andy Reid
Best team first half of season: Giants
Best team second half: Washington
Worst team first half: Arizona, New Orleans
Worst team second half: Giants
Toughest team to figure: San Francisco
Worst team all season: Jacksonville, Kansas City. Will the Chiefs ever get good again?
Team to watch next season: Dolphins, Carolina, Cincinnati, St. Louis
Underrated coaching job: Jeff Fisher
Now for the Week 17 picks.
Tampa at Atlanta - Atlanta has nothing to play for. They already have the best record in NFC. Bucs win 27-26.
Jets at Buffalo - Jets forget to use de-icer, and do not score a single point. Buffalo 13-0.
Baltimore at Cincy - Bengals finish out with impressive win. Baltimore to up and down. Beating Giants last week was like beating Jax, Giants are that bad right now. Bengals 23-13.
Chicago at Detroit - Bears expect Lions to play dirtiest game of the year...Going Lions for, hey I don't know, Jay Cutler has a headache. 17-16.
Jacksonville at Tennessee - Talk about a throw-away game. Just left Nashville and folks there are not happy. Let's just say Titans gear was not a big sell during Christmas shopping. If they do not win this game, the coaching staff is gone. I say the Titans win 34-20.
Houston at Indy - Taking a chance on this one. All the signals tell me to go the other way, I just can't get around the emotional story with the Colts. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Feel good story wins out. Colts 27-24. OT by the way.
Green Bay at Minnesota - Vikings are hot and need this game for a better playoff spot. And how about this? Adrian Peterson goes nuts, breaking Dickerson's record in the process. Minnesota wins 34-31.
Miami at New England - Dolphins get surprise victory. 23-20.
Carolina at New Orleans - It is a good thing Saints started out 0 for September...They would be tough in the playoffs right now. Taking Saints to finish .500, 37-24 over the Panthers.
Philly at Giants - These two teams could be playing the worst football since Rich Kotite was coaching. The Giants win but does them no good. All a win does is give them a worst draft pick and a tougher schedule next year. Giants 34-31.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh - Not even Pittsburgh is a playoff team this year. The NFL has gone to pot. Steelers win with pride, 13-10. Weeden's out by the way.
Oakland at San Diego - I'm sorry, can't bring myself to think about this one. Chargers win 23-10.
Arizona at San Fran - 49ers need to regroup to win division. Good thing they play a chump. SF wins 37-10.
St. Louis at Seattle - Rams playing better but this one may be too much in Seattle. Seahawks win 27-12.
Kansas City at Denver - Ugh. Broncos 34-0.
Dallas at Washington - Dallas hasn't played well in these situations in 15 years, why start now? Washington's too hot right now anyway. Redskins 34-20.
Hope you had a good year.