The most consistent sports entertainment on TV is the NFL. Frankly, it’s not close. Spend any Sunday on the couch and you’re bound to see three or four games that come down to the final minute. It’s like it’s scripted.
Last season began with Drew Brees trying to complete a thrilling comeback in the final seconds at Green Bay. It ended with Eli Manning and Mario Manningham connecting on an incredible completion at the Super Bowl.
I have no clue who will win this Super Bowl, who will be MVP or when Andre Johnson will pull another hammy.
I do know the NFL will not fail to entertain me. That’s why I’m so excited about tonight. With that said, here are my NFL picks for 2012:
Green Bay 13-3
Detroit 8-8…Remove the first few games of 2011 and this team was ugly. I don’t see the defense getting much better.
New Orleans 9-7…No Sean Payton on the sidelines, but Drew Brees will still throw for 5,000 yards.
Tampa Bay 7-9
New York 10-6
Philadelphia 9-7…If Mike Vick stays healthy, the Eagles win the best division in football. He won’t and they won’t.
San Francisco 11-5…Can Alex Smith take the next step? If he does, the Niners will make the Super Bowl.
St. Louis 5-11
Conference championship game: Packers over 49ers
Cincinnati 8-8…I gotta say, I’m a bit fascinated by the Bengals. I think they could win the division.
Houston 10-6…Worst division in football? It’s not even close. Houston wins by default.
New England 12-4
New York 7-9
Miami 4-12…Joe Philbin may be the least intimidating head coach I’ve ever seen. On top of that, he doesn’t have any good players.
Kansas City 7-9…It’s hard to figure out the Chiefs. I could see them finishing first or last. The Broncos are better on defense and at quarterback.
San Diego 7-9
Conference championship game: Ravens over Broncos
Super Bowl 47: Packers over Ravens
>> You thought Texas Tech coaches Mike Leach and Bob Knight were hard to get along with? Billy Gillispie is about to lose his job, basically for being a jerk.
>> Bruce Feldman’s top 10 list of loudest stadiums. It’s a good list and Feldman has certainly been enough places to compile it. But I’ve always found it difficult to measure noise. It’s even harder to compare noise levels in your brain when you experience them years apart. So I guess what I’m saying is, I like the list, but I find it kinda silly.
>> Troy Calhoun, the Air Force coach, is publicizing his coaches ballot this year. Good for him. I wish more coaches did it.
>> The Forde-Yard Dash examines the attendance dip on the first weekend of college football. Are fans tired of cupcakes?
>> A Joe Posnanski tweet this morning: “The most underrated player in baseball is easy: Alex Gordon … so underrated nobody even talks about him being underrated.” Gordon has had a phenomenal summer. He’s closing in on .300, he leads the league in doubles and he’s an outstanding left fielder. His WAR — wins above replacement player — is 4.9, fifth-best in the American League.
>> Get one last good look at Wil Myers, Omaha. The minor league player of the year should be in Kansas City next spring. Heck, he should’ve been in Kansas City all summer. It’s bizarre that Myers hasn’t already replaced Jeff Francoeur.
>> If Bubba Starling keeps playing like he did last week, he’ll replace Myers in the Omaha outfield sooner than later. But Bubba had his heart broken last night in the playoffs. His team blew a five-run lead with two outs in the last inning.
>> Grantland did a draft-day documentary on Iowa State’s Royce White. It’s good.
>> Oklahoma State’s 84-0 blowout of Savannah State should change the way the Oklahoma schools schedule, Jenni Carlson says.
>> An interview with Andy Murray about how he’d build the perfect tennis player. It starts with Pete Sampras’ serve.
>> How fantasy football changed the way we watch the NFL. We don’t care who wins anymore!
>> The Nationals are doing the right thing with Stephen Strasburg, says SI’s Tom Verducci.
>> Finally, a Husker note (I couldn’t go a whole column without one). Right now, Nebraska’s offense appears three levels ahead of its defense. Here’s John Papuchis on that issue:
“Having an offense that dynamic certainly makes our job a little bit easier. However, there will be a game this year — or two or three — that we’re going to have to carry the load.”
Can the Blackshirts do it? I don’t think we’ll find out until Ohio State.