Friday, September 28, 2012

Did You See That: Other Replacement Ref Calls

Now that the replacement refs are gone for good, I felt that I should give them a farewell present, in only a way that I can. I did some digging this past week, and was able to uncover some other calls the replacement refs have made that changed the outcomes of games, seasons, and the histories of certain clubs. These are freshly revealed, so while you let the shock wear off, here are some of those famous calls.

1972: The Immaculate Reception
Actual Call: Franco Harris catch off the deflection, taken for a Steelers touchdown.
Replacements Call: The line judge has his back turned to the play, but he heard something hit the turf, so he called the pass incomplete even though he couldn't see it.

1972: USA vs. USSR Gold Medal Mens Basketball Game
Actual Call: Soviets 51 USA 50. Need we say more?
Replacements Call: Edeshko of course had his foot on the line, because he's a dirty communist. And that timeout should have been given to the Soviets. Our mistake for giving the Seahawks an extra one in response.

1985: Cardinals vs. Royals World Series
Actual Call: Don Denkinger calls the Royals' Jorge Ortega safe at first in the 9th inning of Game 6.
Replacements Call: Since the ump at first base was a lifelong Cardinals fan (MLB not knowing this), he called Ortega out, which turned out actually to be the right call. Shocker. Cards win the World Series.

1986: Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" Goal
Actual Call: Maradona scores a goal against England in the quarters by punching the ball into the net.
Replacements Call: Even the scab ref knows you can't touch the ball with your hand, and he has an in with the Daily Telegraph, too. Goal waved off.

1990: "Fifth Down" between Colorado and Missouri
Actual Call: Officials forget to turn over the down marker from 2nd to 3rd down, giving the Buffs an extra play. They score a TD on "4th" down, but what was actually the 5th play.
Replacements Call: The same thing, because it turned out that the dial-a-down operator was a replacement too, and he only used to spin the phone dial at the office at his real job.

1999: Brett Hull's Skate in the Crease
Actual Call: Brett Hull scores the Stanley Cup winning goal in 3OT in Game 6, despite his skate being in the crease, which was a heavily enforced NHL rule that season.
Replacements Call: Called a goal as well, because Gary Bettman hired replacements straight from the 1992 refs lockout, who couldn't skate, so they had to watch the goal from the bench. (Not Mr. Bettman's worst call, by the way).

2002: The Tuck Rule
Actual Call: Do I really have to explain this one?
Replacements Call: Also ruled incomplete here, because the replacement could only see the start and end of the play, because he was wiping snow out of his eyes. Review was inconclusive.

2010: Armando Gallaraga's Not-So Perfect Game
Actual Call: Ask Jim Joyce.
Replacements Call: Both hit the bag simultaneously. Tie goes to the runner. Simple as that.

2010: England robbed against Germany in the World Cup
Actual Call: Frank Lampard not awarded a goal despite the ball bouncing over the line. Game was 2-1, should have been 2-2.
Replacements Call: A goal, because no one on earth is that blind to say that they didn't see the ball fully cross the line. (Although one Platini claims differently).

Hope this sheds some light on the background for Monday Nights egregious call that got the replacements the boot. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012 Week 4 Fantasy Advice

I must be as good at doing these fantasy predictions as the replacement refs are at determining what simultaneous possession is. But, as the real guys come back, I hope to claw a little credibility back with this column. At least I enjoy writing it, unlike the scab refs with getting lambasted on twitter.

Byes: IND, PIT

Who to Start:

QB Peyton Manning (DEN) vs. OAK: He actually put in a decent stat line against the best defense in football last week, so how will he do against one of the league's shakiest pass defenses? Pretty well, I'd guess.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (CIN) vs. JAX: The Jaguars have had major problems stopping the run this year without their best linebacker, Daryl Smith, in the fold, and since he will not be back on Sunday, the Law Firm should have a good day on the ground.

WR Vincent Jackson (TB) vs. WSH: The Redskins defense is pretty abysmal, and they have had some major issues defending the pass in the past 3 weeks. Josh Freeman and the Bucs pass offense had a bad week against the Cowboys, but against the polar opposite defense, they should do well.

WR Julian Edelman (NE) vs. BUF: This start is becoming more and more obvious, as he becomes the new Wes Welker for the Pats, and it does help that the Bills defense has had major issues defending the pass, and rushing the passer as well.

TE Owen Daniels (HOU) vs. TEN: He remains as one of the more underrated Tight Ends in football, and yet he's not owned in many league's I've seen. The Titans have had major issues defending the Tight End this season, allowing a high in receptions, yards, and TD's to them, so Daniels is a great start.

DEF Arizona vs. MIA: This is becoming a no-brainer as well, as the Cards continue to strut their stuff, and their defense has been the best part of the team. Now, they welcome Miami to town. That should help their numbers.

Who to Sit:

QB Jay Cutler (CHI) vs. DAL MON: The Cowboys pass defense has been very stout this year, and Jay Cutler has reverted to being Jay Cutler, despite the Bears 2-1 start. He is a major risk this week.

RB Andre Brown (NYG) vs. PHI: After his burst onto the scene last Thursday against Carolina, he will have a much tougher time sustaining that performance against a much better Eagles defense, and Ahmad Bradshaw is back as well, which will limit his carries.

WR Dez Bryant (DAL) vs. CHI MON: I guess, based on my recommendations, the MNF game this week will be a defensive slugfest. Regardless of that, Dez has been invisible in the first 3 weeks for the Cowboys, and that will continue against a very good Bears secondary.

WR Danny Amendola (STL) vs. SEA: Sit a Rams wideout, surely you jest? Amendola has been a pleasant surprise this year, but as Monday night proved, the Seahawks defense is no joke. Throwing against them might be tough for the Rams.

TE Fred Davis (WSH) vs. TB: He might have issues against a Bucs defense that has been very good at defending the Tight End this season, despite his good weekend last time out against the Bengals.

DEF New York Jets vs. SF: Since Revis island has been washed up due to an ACL tear, the Jets defense is now even less viable as a fantasy option than they were before. Add to that the fact that the 49ers don't make many mistakes on offense, the Jets D is a major risk.

3 Super Sleepers:

QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. WSH: Yes he had a terrible week against the Cowboys last time out. But this time, he faces a Washington D that hasn't allowed fewer than 30 points in a game yet this season. He could rebound in a big way here.

RB Cedric Benson (GB) vs. NO: As has been proven over the first 3 weeks, the Saints have an iffy defense. Cedric Benson is due for a good game for the Packers, and this might finally be the one where he breaks through.

WR Malcolm Floyd (SD) vs. KC: He had a bad week against the Falcons, but he gets to face a very good opponent fantasy wise in Kansas City, who have been torn apart by 3 separate QB's already.

Buyer Beware:

QB Michael Vick (PHI) vs. NYG: He has taken a beating in the first 3 games of the season, and facing the Giants isn't likely to alleviate that. I don't have a good feeling about this game for the Eagles, and the Giants D has had 10 days to prepare for him, too.

Good luck in Week 4!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 Week 3 Fantasy Advice

I'm really on a roll with these picks. I had a bad Week 1, and only a slightly better Week 2. I'm channelling my inner New Orleans Saints right now. But, I'm hoping that I can fix that this week, which means anyone I recommend will have a terrible week. Give and take, I suppose.

Who to Start:

QB Tony Romo (DAL) vs. TB: He had a poor showing in Seattle, but in the Cowboys home opener against a team that allowed 511 passing yards to Eli Manning, and is dead last in pass defense. The turnovers likely shouldn't be a problem for Romo.

RB Donald Brown (IND) vs. JAX: The Jags have had major issues defending the run this season, mainly due to injuries in their linebacking corps. Brown could have a big game for the Colts, which could set up some big help for Andrew Luck.

WR Michael Crabtree (SF) vs. MIN: The 49ers look like the best team in football, and have had a consistent passing game thus far. Crabtree is the 19th most targeted receiver in the league so far, and the Vikings have had issues defending the pass so far, so Crabtree should have a good matchup.

WR Dwayne Bowe (KC) vs. NO: Despite the major struggles for the Chiefs so far this season, Bowe could have a big game against a New Orleans defense that has in all honesty been a sieve this season.

TE Brandon Pettigrew (DET) vs. TEN: When Dante Rosario scores two TD's against you, your defense has major issues defending Tight Ends. The Titans did that a week ago against the Chargers, so Pettigrew should have a big game.

DEF Chicago vs. STL: The Bears are fuming off their terrible loss at Green Bay on Thursday, and the Rams offensive line is seriously banged up. The Bears have to take advantage of these games, and I think they will here.

Who to Sit:

QB Carson Palmer (OAK) vs. PIT: You'd be surprised to hear he's actually not throwing the ball that badly despite only tossing 2 TD passes in his first two games. But those were against San Diego and Miami. This is against Pittsburgh.

RB Michael Turner (ATL) vs. SD: His decline has not been greatly exaggerated. He struggled big time on Monday night, and now going out west on a short week is a tough ask for the ageing back. Playing against his former team might add some ammo, but I still feel he'll struggle.

WR Vincent Jackson (TB) vs. DAL: The Giants and Panthers might have been favorable matchups for the Bucs, but Dallas won't be. They haven't allowed a receiving TD by a wideout yet, and their top 2 corners are very good. Could be a tough one for Jackson at Jerryworld on Sunday.

WR Jordy Nelson (GB) vs. SEA MON: The Seahawks have one of the best secondaries in the NFL that you know nothing about, but you might know something after Monday night. They will lock down Nelson, who could be the Packers number 1 target again.

TE Greg Olsen (CAR) vs. NYG THU: He hasn't done very much for the Panthers in their first 2 games, and that form will likely continue against a Giants defense that has been very stout defending the Tight End, despite their myriad of problems on the outside.

DEF San Diego vs. ATL: The Falcons offense has been very good this season, and the Chargers defense has only been OK with 2 sub-par matchups under their belt. This is the first true test for this unit, and I don't think they'll hold up well.

3 Super Sleepers:

WR Brandon LaFell (CAR) vs. NYG THU: Believe it or not, he's been the most reliable weapon for Cam Newton thus far. With the Giants propensity for getting torched on the outside very much present, LaFell could be in for a big night.

DEF Indianapolis vs. JAX: While I know the Texans are the Texans, only 112 total yards of offense? That's how many the Jags had on Sunday, and while they'll likely do better, the Colts defense is a nice pinch-hit option if you need them.

QB Brandon Weeden (CLE) vs. BUF: He just looked like a different player when the Browns took the field in Cincy, and he will continue that form against a Buffalo defense that has been hit or miss not only this year, but last year as well.

Buyer Beware:

QB Peyton Manning (DEN) vs. HOU: That MNF performance was the worst Peyton has looked in years, and the most frustrated as well. It doesn't help that his next assignment is to break down the AFC's best defense in Houston. He could really struggle.

Good Luck in Week 3!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage Predictions

In another instalment of "predictions that will likely fail", here are my predictions for this year's UEFA Champions League group stages.

Group A: 1) PSG 13 pts. 2) Porto 10 pts. 3) Dynamo Kiev 7 pts. 4) Dinamo Zagreb 2 pts.
Group B: 1) Arsenal 11 pts. 2) Schalke 04 9 pts. 3) Montpellier 6 pts. 4) Olympiacos 5 pts.
Group C: 1) Zenit St. Petersburg 11 pts. 2) Milan 10 pts. 3) M√°laga 8 pts. 4) Anderlecht 4 pts.
Group D: 1) Real Madrid 12 pts. 2) Manchester City 11 pts. 3) Borussia Dortmund 7 pts. 4) Ajax 4 pts.
Group E: 1) Juventus 11 pts. 2) Chelsea 10 pts. 3) Shakhtar Donetsk 6 pts. 4) Nordsj√¶lland 2 pts. 
Group F: 1) Bayern Munich 15 pts. 2) Valencia 9 pts. 3) Lille 7 pts. 4) BATE Borisov 1 pt.
Group G: 1) Barcelona 14 pts. 2) Spartak Moscow 9 pts. 3) Celtic 7 pts. 4) Benfica 6 pts.
Group H: 1) Manchester United 15 pts. 2) Galatasary 8 pts. 3) Braga 7 pts. 4) CFR Cluj 1 pt.

Pre-Knockout Stages Champ Prediction: Barcelona

Rest of the predictions come after the draws for the next round have been announced.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Freddy the Scab Zebra

Full disclosure: I was not around in 1987 for the NFLPA strike of that year. But, as a devoted student of the league, I know an awful lot more about the wild 1987 season than I would have otherwise, thanks to Youtube.  This might have been the NFL's darkest hour, when the games of Week 3 were cancelled and the games of Weeks 4 through 6 were played with replacement players, or "scabs".  "Chicago Spare Bears", "San Francisco Phoney Niners", "New Orleans Saint Elsewheres", and "Washington ScabSkins", were just some of the very interesting names that were used to describe the teams of castaways, journeymen, and in some cases, guys off the street. Anyone who covered or watched the league in 1987 will tell you that the replacement players were much worse than the replacement refs of today, as well they should. So why then, am I bringing up these apples and oranges in the same breath, and trying to compare them?

It all goes to a quote Joe Flacco said about the replacement refs after the Ravens Week 2 loss in Philadelphia. He said that the scab refs, "are affecting the integrity of the game". In NFL buzzword bingo, that might get you the win instantly. But, he has a point. It seems everyone around, and inside the league wants the real guys back, well, everyone except the League of 32 men plus 1 comish. The replacements have been, for the most part, innocuous. But, whenever they make a mistake, it's blown up tenfold. Week 1 went off without any major hitches, sans a timeout fiasco in the Seahawks/Cardinals game. That almost gave Seattle the win, but, thankfully for the PR guys in New York, it didn't. Week 2 came around with more missed and questionable calls than ever, including many times where you just wondered if these guys had ever read the rulebook. Games are taking longer than ever now, thanks to officiating screw-ups and general misunderstanding of the game. They aren't controlling the game well enough, which is why it seemed that in a good chunk of them, control of the players was lost. It doesn't help that there are now questions about the intergrity of the refs themselves, see examples from Seattle and New Orleans for that.

So, both the scab players and scab refs have affected the integrity of the game to some extent, and that's not arguable. But, why is what NFL fans are dealing with now, so much different, and much worse for the same fans?

During the 1987 strike, TV revenues went way down, and by the end of the season, they went down overall by 20%. The NFL wasn't budging. The fans were paying for a terrible product, and they let the league, and mainly the players, know it. Even the solidarity of the players was broken down enough to get everyone back on the field and get the hell on turf show gone. That strike affected the league's bottom line, so much so, that it will never happen again. But with the replacement refs, ratings are at record highs. People are still flocking to the stadiums, and watching the games on TV just as much, if not more, than the 2011 season which came hot off a lockout. What's worse, is that Mr. Goodell can continue to sit in his office and laud the ratings success and the notoriety of his league, because everyone is talking about the mistakes of Freddy the Scab Zebra. So much for, "Integrity of the Game".

That makes the thought of the real guys not returning until the fake ones cost a team a game easier to stomach, momentarily at least. We all know that coaches and players in the NFL complain about the real guys all the time, but it never gets press. Complaining about the scab refs though, is a hot button item, and can make it easier for guys like me to get to their keyboards and type away. And Roger Goodell will continue to stare out at the New York City skyline thanking you for your efforts. 

We all play into his hands with pieces on the scab refs. Whatever the difference is between the 2 sides in bargaining is irrelevant to Goodell, and anyone else right now. We play the cards he dealt us, and we're doing exactly what he wants us to do. 

And unlike with the scab players of 25 years ago, there's no way we can tell Goodell to stop the charade, because we'll keep watching, and writing, while he counts his money, and our fingers grow sore from hitting the same keystrokes. 

When the players went on strike in 1987, everyone lost. Someone has won here.

Whether the real refs come back in Week 3, 13, or for the playoffs, Goodell has won, and everyone else has to watch him enjoy it while we long for the biceps of Ed Hochuli to return. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 Week 2 Fantasy Advice

This column failed me last week, or at least my predictions did. I'm going to be better this week, you can be sure of that. Or at least, maybe the NFL will go the way it's supposed to for one week.

Who to Start:

QB Philip Rivers (SD) vs. TEN: The Titans secondary got shredded by Tom Brady last week, as expected. But that doesn't mean that there aren't issues back there. Rivers had a decent night on Monday against a better Raiders secondary, but he should find more success in the Bolts home opener.

RB C.J Spiller (BUF) vs. KC: Due to the injury to Fred Jackson, Spiller is now the feature back for the Bills. He showed some explosiveness last week against the Jets. He's also a good receiver out of the backfield, and it helps that the KC defense did have problems defending the Falcons last week.

WR Reggie Wayne (IND) vs. MIN: The Vikings secondary didn't have a good game against the Jaguars on Sunday. Wayne was actively used last week, catching 9 passes for 135 yards against the Bears. He should have another big game this week.

WR Vincent Jackson (TB) vs. NYG: I was skeptical of him when he came to Tampa, but he could have a big day against a banged up Giants secondary on Sunday. They gave up big yards to guys like Kevin Ogletree, so Vincent Jackson should be in line for a decent game.

TE Aaron Hernandez (NE) vs. ARZ: He might end up seeing as many targets as Rob Gronkowski will this season. The Cardinals defense was sketchy at times against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, so they likely will have problems defending the high powered Pats attack.

DEF Cincinnati vs. CLE: The Browns offense was offensive a week ago against the Eagles. Brandon Weeden looked bad, and the Bengals are just coming off being humiliated by the Ravens. I smell revenge in the air at Paul Brown Stadium.

Who to Sit:

QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ) vs. PIT: I'll take my crow with some salt after seeing what Sanchez did against the Bills. Once is an accident they say, and I'm not sure twice will be a trend going up against a healthier Steelers defense in their home opener.

RB Kevin Smith (DET) vs. SF: He had a good game against the mediocre Rams, but against the polar opposite of that in San Francisco, I would recommend leaving him on your bench.

WR Kenny Britt (TEN) vs. SD: He is coming off a suspension and multiple knee injuries, and the Titans plan to ease him into the line-up. The Titans pass offense struggled last week, and I would have to guess with the limited snaps for him, Britt will struggle in his debut as well.

WR Sidney Rice (SEA) vs. DAL: Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne had impressive Cowboys' debuts last Wednesday against the Giants, and the Seahawks receivers didn't have a great game against the Cards last Sunday. Rice might be in for some struggles.

TE Brent Celek (PHI) vs. BAL: Even though I had him recommended to start last week, that was against new Cleveland. Against old Cleveland (Baltimore), he will be in for a tough week, against a unit that gave up only 30 yards to Bengals TE's.

DEF Denver vs. ATL MON: The Broncos defense was sketchy against the Steelers, and it won't get easier going to the Georgia Dome to play the high powered Falcons offense.

3 Super Sleepers:

QB Andrew Luck (IND) vs. MIN: Blaine Gabbert had a big game against the Vikings last week, and Andrew Luck will make sure the home fans in Indy go home happy in his home debut. He could have a monster game.

RB Alfred Morris (WSH) vs. STL: In this week's episode of "As the Shanahan RB rotation turns", Alfred Morris is the next one in line. He's a tough start, but might be a good flex option against a bad Rams defense.

TE Owen Daniels (HOU) vs. JAX: Kyle Rudolph had a big game against the Jaguars last week due to some issues in their linebacking corps. Since they might not be fixed by Sunday, Daniels is a good sleeper option.

Buyer Beware:

QB Michael Vick (PHI) vs. BAL: The Ravens defense was great last week, and Mike Vick threw 4 picks against the Browns. You can see why people might be skeptical of starting him on Sunday.

Good Luck in Week 2!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 Week 1 Fantasy Advice

I was going to post this yesterday, but other circumstances dictated that I couldn't. For future reference, all of these columns will be posted on Wednesday's from now on, except in the last 2 weeks of the season. With that out of the way, let's get to the actual fantasy help you all come to this blog so often for:

Who to Start:

QB Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. KC: He should have a great year under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, whose scheme fits Ryan's style of play better than Mike Mularkey's did. Kansas City's secondary has some turnover from a year ago, even though safety Eric Berry is returning from injury. Ryan could have a big game here.

RB Rashad Jennings (JAX) vs. MIN: I wouldn't call him a sleeper due to all of the MJD talk, but Jennings is a very viable option this week against Minnesota. Their defense is sketchy up the middle, and Jennings should see the bulk of the workload with MJD being eased back into the lineup.

WR Torrey Smith (BAL) vs. CIN MON: He might be one of the fastest players in the NFL, and can get by any corner with relative easy on a go route. The Bengals secondary is either older, or inexperienced, so look for Smith to have a big game on Monday night.

WR Malcolm Floyd (SD) vs. OAK MON: The Raiders entire secondary from 2011 has turned over into the new season, and the Chargers will come out throwing with their issues at the running back position. Floyd is the best of an average group of receivers, so he is the one to start this week.

TE Fred Davis (WSH) vs. NO: I usually recommend tight ends who have rookie QB's starting for them, and Davis is no exception. The safety blanket factor for RG3 is a major one here, and Davis has very good ability too. It helps that the Saints defense is usually pretty bad, too.

DEF Philadelphia vs. CLE: It's the Browns lethargic offense with a rookie QB starting, going up against one of the best secondaries in all of football. It couldn't be this obvious... could it?

Who to Sit:

QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ) vs. BUF: I don't know why, after this preseason, you'd want to start him anyway, but in the out-of-the-ordinary circumstance that you might want to, you shouldn't. Buffalo's defense is very good up front, and there is that guy who wears number 15 hanging around...

RB Reggie Bush (MIA) vs. HOU: The Dolphins are going to have major struggles everywhere on the offensive side of the ball, but running will be especially tough this week against the very stout Texans defense. It won't help that there is no threat on the outside, either.

WR Mike Wallace (PIT) vs. DEN: He likely will start off slowly after his long holdout for the Steelers, and it's not good to remind him that Champ Bailey shut him down for only 3 catches in the playoff game back in January.

WR Stevie Johnson (BUF) vs. NYJ: I'm not putting him here because he's going up against that guy named Revis. I'm putting him here because of a groin injury that will hamper him when he plays on Sunday. He will lose some of that burst that allows him to escape coverages.

TE Jared Cook (TEN) vs. NE: He has the hype machine all over him this season, but he might struggle at the start of the season against the Patriots, who surprisingly only allowed 3 touchdowns to opposing Tight Ends last season.

DEF San Francisco vs. GB: Even though this is one of the better defenses in football, you don't need to think very long to understand why I would recommend benching them this weekend.

3 Super Sleepers:

QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. CAR: The Panthers defense last year was a sieve, mainly due to all of their injuries, but even when they are healthy, I think Freeman could have a big game against them due to his new weapons and help from the ground game.

WR Percy Harvin (MIN) vs. JAX: His explosiveness should help out Christian Ponder against a better than advertised Jags D, and he does have a knack to play better in games when Adrian Peterson either struggles or isn't doing very much.

TE Brent Celek (PHI) vs. CLE: With the Browns likely being able to take away Jackson and Maclin on the outside, Mike Vick will have to look to the interior of the defense for yards, and Brent Celek has seen a resurgence of late in his form.

Buyer Beware:

Any rookie starting QB: All of them have matchups that are either tough, or they are on the road this weekend, so starting any of them is a major risk. I wouldn't start any of them until they can prove something in these tough environments.

Good Luck in Week 1!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My 2012 NFL Predictions

I'm now doing this for the 3rd year running, and while it went well one year, it didn't the other. Now, it's time for some sweet redemption (or more likely, regretting this come the New Year). Once again, with absolutely no bias, my 3rd annual NFL season predictions:

AFC East: 1) NE 13-3 2) BUF 9-7 3) NYJ 6-10 4) MIA 5-11
AFC North: 1) PIT 11-5 2) BAL 10-6 3) CIN 9-7 4) CLE 4-12
AFC South: 1) HOU 10-6 2) JAX 8-8 3) TEN 7-9 4) IND 4-12
AFC West: 1) DEN 10-6 2) SD 10-6 3) KC 8-8 4) OAK 6-10
NFC East: 1) NYG 11-5 2) PHI 10-6 3) DAL 8-8 4) WSH 6-10
NFC North: 1) GB 13-3 2) CHI 11-5 3) DET 9-7 4) MIN 3-13
NFC South 1) ATL 10-6 2) NO 9-7 3) CAR 7-9 4) TB 5-11
NFC West: 1) SF 12-4 2) SEA 9-7 3) ARZ 7-9 4) STL 3-13

AFC Playoffs:

Wild Card Round: 3) DEN over 6) SD
                             5) BAL over 4) HOU

Divisional Round: 1) NE over 5) BAL
                           2) PIT over 3) DEN

AFC Championship Game:  2) PIT over 1) NE

NFC Playoffs:

Wild Card Round:  6) PHI over 3) NYG
                              5) CHI over 4) ATL

Divisional Round: 1) GB over 6) PHI
                           2) SF over 5) CHI

NFC Championship Game: 2) SF over 1) GB

Super Bowl XLVII: 2 NFC SF over 2 AFC PIT

Award Winners:

Coach of the Year: Lovie Smith
MVP: Tom Brady
Offensive ROY: Andrew Luck
Defensive ROY: Luke Kuechly
Offensive POY: Aaron Rodgers
Defensive POY: Patrick Willis