Why are Bill Simmons and Peter King talking about the Week 15 Giants/Eagles game?

New York Giants Matt Dodge dives for Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Jackson who returns a punt 65 yards for a touchdown with no time remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter at New Meadowlands Stadium in week 15 of the NFL in East Rutherford, New Jersey on December 19, 2010. The Eagles defeated the Giants 38-31. UPI /John Angelillo

I just listened to Bill Simmons’ post-Super Bowl podcast and he said that if the Giants had held on to beat the Eagles in Week 15, the Packers wouldn’t have made the playoffs. Peter King also said that the Packers have the Eagles to thank for their playoff berth.

Green Bay finished 10-6, the last Wild Card team and sixth seed in the NFC, by virtue of winning tiebreakers with the 10-6 Giants and 10-6 Bucs. We all know the Giants story: Up 31-10 over Philly at home with eight minutes left in the game, the Giants gave up 28 points in the last half of the fourth quarter and lost 38-31. The killer was punter Matt Dodge blowing the game and keeping a punt to DeSean Jackson inbounds with 14 seconds left in a 31-all game. Jackson returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. Who knows what would have happened if that game went to overtime, but that’ll stay a mystery.

Maybe I’m missing something here because, clearly, I’m not in the same league as Bill Simmons and Peter King. It appears that Simmons and King are counting the Giants’ win in Week 15, but aren’t considering the Eagles’ loss. If the Eagles lose that game in Week 15, they don’t win the East. The Giants win it at 11-5. Assuming Philly beats Dallas in Week 17 (a reasonable assumption since they didn’t play many of their starters in a 14-13 loss), the Eagles would have finished 10-6 and would have been tied with Tampa Bay and Green Bay for the 6th and final spot in the NFC. This assumes the Eagles would have still lost to the Vikings in Week 16, which is a fair assumption since they played their starters.

The first tiebraker between three teams is a head-to-head sweep, which isn’t applicable because the Bucs didn’t play either the Packers or the Eagles. The second tiebraker is conference record. The Bucs and Packers went 8-4 while the Eagles would have gone 7-5 (with a loss against NYG but a win against DAL), so the Eagles would have been eliminated at this point.

The next tiebraker is record in common games. Both teams were 2-3 in common games. The Packers beat the 49ers and the Lions, and lost to the Lions, Redskins and Falcons. The Bucs beat the 49ers and Redskins, and lost to the Falcons twice and the Lions.

The next tiebraker is strength of victory. I’m not sure how this is calculated or where I can find it, but acccording to CBSSports.com, that was the tiebraker that gave the Packers the No. 6 seed over the Giants and Bucs:

Green Bay is the No. 6 seed over the N.Y. Giants and Tampa Bay based on strength of victory (.475 to the Giants’ .400 and the Buccaneers’ .344).

So the Packers would have gotten the No. 6 seed over the Bucs. They would have played the Giants in the first round of the playoffs. Maybe they would have won or maybe they would have lost, but either way, they would have made the postseason.

So Bill Simmons and Peter King (and anyone else), please stop talking about the Week 15 Giants/Eagles game with regard to the Packers’ Super Bowl win. Thank you.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Final Thoughts: Anthony & John wrap-up Super Bowl XLV

Super Bowl MVP and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers celebrates alongside teammate Clay Matthews after winning Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. The Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win. UPI/Brian Kersey

On most “morning afters,” Anthony and I will discuss the big game over Skype as we go about our work day. Since this is the Super Bowl, we thought we’d have a quick conversation in our usual barstool debate format. Super Bowl XLV was extra special for me, a die-hard Packer fan, while Anthony was rooting for the Packers for…ahem…other reasons.

JP: On Friday I wrote a piece entitled “As a Packer fan, here’s what I’m worried about…” and listed (1) Mike McCarthy’s conservative playcalling, (2) not being able to stop Rashard Mendenhall, (3) the Packers not playing a clean game, (4) that the O-line wouldn’t be able to protect Aaron Rodgers, (5) that the Green Bay receivers wouldn’t be able to hold onto the ball and (6) that the Packers wouldn’t be able to bring down Big Ben as the six biggest things I was worried about heading into the game. Whew, that was a long sentence. Anyway, of those concerns, the biggest issue was the 4-6 drops by the Green Bay receivers, and even they made enough plays to make up for it. Jordy Nelson came back after a drop with a big first down catch and run in the second half, while James Jones made a couple of nice grabs on the Packers’ two fourth quarter scoring drives to make up for his awful drop in the third quarter. Mendenhall was running well (4.5 ypc), but he only got 14 carries when he should have had 20 – and his fumble (and subsequent Rodgers-to-Jennings TD) in the fourth quarter completely changed the game. The O-line played well, McCarthy didn’t retreat into his turtle shell when the Packers had the lead, and GB got enough pressure on Big Ben to rattle him a little – Nick Collins’ interception return TD was obviously a huge play in the first half. The special teams dodged a bullet when they recovered Tramon Williams’ first quarter fumble and on the whole played a reasonably clean game. Well enough to win, anyway. You wrote in your wrap-up that you didn’t think it was a very well-played game. The Steelers made some serious mistakes, but I thought the Packers played a pretty good game.

AS: Outside of the drops I would agree with you, John. If it weren’t for the drops and a few passes that were off the mark in the third quarter, Aaron Rodgers played a near-perfect game. Some will say that the Steelers didn’t pressure him, but they did. He was just that good. Most of his passes were accurate and he did a great job of standing in the pocket and setting his feet. On the other side, there were a handful of passes that Big Ben short-armed in the first half because he didn’t set his feet properly. There was a huge difference in the play of the two quarterbacks and that reflected in the final score. Big Ben put together a nice second quarter when Dom Capers was scrambling to adjust to the injuries of Charles Woodson and Sam Shields, but Roethlisberger came up short in the end. Think about it: the Packers were without two of their top three corners for nearly two and a half quarters and Big Ben produced a 77.4 QB Rating. That’s weak. As a Packer fan how nervous were you when Woodson went down? I thought they might have been it for Green Bay.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lauren reacts to Bears’ loss against the Packers [video]

Far be it from me to take any pleasure in watching a little girl in a fit of crying, but this video is kind of funny…

When did Jay Cutler injure his knee?

A Bears fan who calls himself “Your Boy Roy” breaks down the Cutler injury while holding a snifter of beer. It’s actually a pretty good breakdown of what (may have) happened to Cutler last Sunday.

Charles Barkley rips those players who criticized Cutler

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler stands on the field against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of a preseason game at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 21, 2010. UPI/Brian Kersey

On Tuesday, Charles Barkley was on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago and voiced his displeasure with the players who criticized Jay Cutler for not finishing the NFC title game against the Packers last Sunday.

“I was mad at the players, to be honest with you,” Barkley said Tuesday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “I think it was inappropriate and wrong to question a guy’s heart. Now reporters, they’re going to do what they want to. They’re entitled to their opinion. But as players, I don’t think it’s appropriate to question another guy’s heart.

“That crosses the line, because you don’t know. If you go back and start looking at all the stuff that’s been said, and clearly one of the more vocal critics was Maurice Jones-Drew, and then you find out he missed the last two games with a bad knee. And he was really the first guy who crucified Jay. You have to be careful, because in the two most important games of the year, he sat out with a bad knee. And then it really makes him look like an idiot now.”

“I just think it’s inappropriate,” Barkley said. “It’s fair to criticize guys when they don’t play well, but it’s 100 percent unfair to criticize guys … if a guy says he’s hurt, you have to respect that.”

The main reason why this story has developed a mind of its own is because players were the ones who publicly attacked Cutler. Fans did too, but we’re idiots. We’re expected to react emotionally and not think things through. That’s our right as morons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts