Sunday, January 16, 2011

Upset Special, How Significant was it?

The first sub-.500 team ever to be in the NFL playoffs, The Seattle Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl Champions, The New Orlean Saints Sunday. Besides from this being yet another playoff upset in the NFL how big was this?

After 44 Super Bowl, and all 44 reigning Super Bowl champions' next season being completely determined, it is more likely that the reigning Super Bowl champion completely miss the playoffs then lose in the first round of next year's playoffs. 15 reigning Super Bowl champions have missed the playoffs completely, while only eight have lost in the first round they played in.
Remember, the wildcard was not invented until 1970, and some of these teams that lost in the first round of the playoffs lost in the divisional playoff round because they clinched a first round bye.
There have been eight repeat Super Bowl champions in NFL history, the Packers, the Dolphins, the Steelers, the Steelers again, the 49ers, the Cowboys, the Broncos, and the Patriots. This ties the amount of reigning champions to lose in the first playoff game they play in. So the reigning Super Bowl champion has the same chance at repeating a Super Bowl victory as losing in their first game of the playoffs.

Neither the Saints nor the Seahawks are new to beating a defending Super Bowl champion, they have both done it before this year, the Seahawks to the Raiders in 1985, and the Saints to the Rams in 2000.
Next, There have only been five wild card teams to win the Super Bowl, the Raiders, the Broncos, the Ravens, the Steelers, and the Giants. Three of those five teams have won in the past decade (2000, 2005, and 2007).
Also, The Seahawks are the worst team ever to make the NFL playoffs, with a final regular season record of 7-9. Today, they face the Chicago Bears, and they have a chance at becoming one step closer to a Super Bowl.
If the Seahawks win today, they will face the Packers, and they will have home field advantage in the NFC Championship.

So, will the Seahawks continue to make NFL history, or will they become just another banner in a stadium?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Browns fire Mangini... Really!?

For a franchise that has been around for 11 years (from 1999), the Cleveland Browns sure seem to go through coaches and owners like water. We've had 5 coaches in 11 years, they were Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Terry Robiskie, Romeo Crennel, and Eric Mangini. Now, for the 12th year of this franchise, the Browns are going to have to find another new coach.

Whether you agree or disagree with the firing of Eric Mangini, you have to admit that with an average life expectancy of 2 years as a coach of this franchise, it's hard to turn the team into a winner. It's hard for players to switch coaching philosophies and head into a new coaching situation once let alone every other year.

So why don't the Browns give anyone a chance to coach the team? Are Cleveland residents just used to hearing "new coach" and "rebuilding year"?

Aside from Cleveland being one of the most hostile crowds in the NFL or any sports league for that matter (doing things such as attacking an 8-year-old who wore a Jets jersey to a game, I believe the rivalry between Cleveland and Pittsburgh plays a huge part in it. Since the franchise has come back, Cleveland is 4-21 against Pittsburgh, including a 12 game losing streak from 2003-2009.

After a 41-9 loss to Pittsburgh to end the season, Mangini was doomed. After having a 10-22 career record with the Browns, Mangini will be looking for a new job next year, and the Browns will be in the same position they have been since Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore, a rebuilding year.

Who are potential head coaches for the Cleveland Browns next year? Will Mike Holmgren move downstairs and coach the Browns?

Holmgren hasn't made any comments about whether or not he will coach next year or not, but I highly doubt he will coach. One option at the head coaching position is ex-Carolina coach John Fox who has a 73-71 career record. Other than this season in which Carolina finished 2-14, Fox never had a season where his team finished under 7-9. His record also tops any Brown's coaches records in win percentage since the return of the team. The highest win percentage of a new era Brown's coach is Butch Davis who was 24-34 (.414).

Whoever coaches the Browns next year hopefully he will lead the team to a successful season, or at least last longer than two years.