Final thoughts on the 2011 NFL regular season

The NFL regular season always seems to go too fast.  It’s always exciting going in, especially this year when we weren’t sure that the season would start on time until about two months beforehand.  Then before you know it Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone and the season is over for 20 teams.  Here are my thoughts on the 2011 regular season, in a nutshell

Congratulations to the Detroit Lions for making the post-season for the first time since 1999.  The Buffalo Bills now hold the longest drought, they also have not made it since 1999.  Congratulations also to the Houston Texans for making the playoffs for the first time in their franchise’s history.

Harbaugh's intensity translated to wins in San Fransisco

Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino, Butch Davis.  Big time college head coaches rarely ever succeed when they transition to the NFL.  Jim Harbaugh blew that stereotype out of the water.  He took a 6-10 San Fransisco 49ers and turned them into a 13-3 team and the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs.  He also did it all with an average Alex Smith at quarterback.  He’s not like Barry Switzer, who succeeded for a bit with Jimmy Johnson’s team in Dallas, either.  He’ll probably stick around for awhile and he’ll get his own quarterback to groom.  San Fransisco’s here to stay with Harbaugh.

For those still clamoring for Tom Brady to be league M.V.P. this is the one stat that should take him out of contention – he was 1-2 against playoff teams during the regular season, the only win coming against the 8-8 Denver Broncos.  Conversely Rodgers had a 5-0 record and Brees had a 5-1 record against playoff teams.  Brees’ loss came against Rodgers and the Packers.  What’s more astounding to me about that stat is that a team that went 14-2 a year ago only has 3 games against playoff teams the following year.

Kudos to Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals for sticking to their guns and playing the best quarterback that they saw in the preseason, rookie Andy Dalton.  Dalton was the 5th quarterback selected in the 2011 NFL draft and by the end of the year Carolina’s Cam Newton, the 1st QB picked, was the only one to out-produce him.  Dalton will be doing something that Newton will have to wait until next year to do however, start his first NFL playoff game.

Also kudos to the Bengals brass for committing what should amount to legal highway robbery of the Oakland Raiders, getting two first round picks for “retired” Carson Palmer.

Has any one pair of brothers ever been more over-hyped and overrated than the Ryan brothers?

Tebowmania is not going anywhere

Tebowmania may have peaked a few weeks ago and the playoff game against the Steelers next weekend might not do it any favors either but don’t fool yourselves into thinking that it’s going away anytime soon.  Tebow will be back as the Broncos starting QB next year and they were in the weakest division in football this year.

I think it’s time for Dallas to move on from Tony Romo.  He’s just not a winning quarterback.  He may sell jerseys but the Cowboys won’t win a title with him.

I can’t believe that the Indianapolis Colts could only manage two wins without Peyton Manning.  They won 10 games last year with him.  Is he really worth 8 wins?  If he is are you really going to replace him with a rookie?  It’s an interesting situation for the Indianapolis Colts and if Robert Griffin III continues to rise up the draft boards that #1 pick might not be worth as much as it was before.

Mark Sanchez is not good.

I’ve got to give credit to Reggie Bush, I didn’t think that he could be an every down back in this league but his 1,086 yards and 6 TDs seemed to have proved me wrong.  Of course we’ll have to see if he can do it in back-to-back years.

Josh McDaniels may be headed back to New England and Steve Spagnuolo may be headed back to Philadelphia.  It’s definitely interesting how things work out sometime.

Gronk had a league high 17 TD receptions

Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, in their 2nd seasons, are the best two tight ends in the NFL and may end up as two of the most prolific tight ends in NFL history when they are done.

The bets implosion of the year goes to Raheem Morris and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The Bucs, who won 10 games last season, were sitting at 4-2 after 6 games and then lost their last 10, most of them in blowout fashion.  It was an almost inexplicable implosion and one that should cost the 2nd year coach his job.

With all due respect to Aaron Rodgers and the accomplishments that he had this season, Drew Brees should be the Most Valuable Player of the NFL this season.

That’s all I got for now…will preview the playoff games later in the week.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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