Hard Knocks: Regular Season Wrap Up
WRAP UP OF THE 2012-2013 REGULAR SEASON
TSO & HK members HAL9100 and NeuroticTruth gave us a final look at the RPI standings, that can be viewed here:
A respectable coach, unknown to HK but with SNG having one the most explosive offenses in the league put a stellar regular season resume together. After dropping their first game to the 49ers, the Packers won 9 in a row before dropping their second game to the Giants. They dominated the North winning their division games by a +129 margin, wow! There record set them up for the Super Bowl run, getting the playoff bye and home field throughout.
The Broncos were an unknown heading into this year with a new owner taking over in Mile High but he year started the year off right with a victory over the Steelers but they dropped the next week against the Falcons before winning two, dropping three then winning seven straight before losing their 5th game. By then they had wrapped up a playoff bye and waited to host one of the wildcard victors.
The Niners and Coach Coug coming into the season were thought to be in serious favorites for the Super Bowl in year one. Dominating the first two games of the year, they dropped the third against the Vikings before reeling off a six game win streak and then dropped back to back games before securing a playoff first round bye along with the Packers.
The Giants were off to a hot start to open the year, starting 5-0 with a 13 point beat down to the hated Cowboys in game 1 along with a shellacking of the Eagles in game 4. They were brought back down to earth against the Niners, a shutout loss, and then the Cowboys exacted revenge two weeks later. After everything was said and done, the Giants were the NFC East Champions and would host a wildcard playoff game.
The Bucs introduced BG as their new head coach after having a very successful M12 campaign with the Jets. After going 1-1 the first two weeks, the Bucs rattled of 5 straight victories and then ended the year with a four game win streak to win the NFC South and hosted the Saints, a division rival, in the wildcard playoffs.
The Jets played well enough to earn themselves a first round bye in the playoffs and win the AFC East. They had some midseason drama to sort out though, as they bench Sanchez in favor of Tim Tebow. The Jets would go on streaks of 2-3 wins throughout the year, as they never had a win streak more then 3 and had a 2 game losing streak happen once. At the end of the year they would host the divisional round playoff game and be one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl.
Mired in offseason news and scandals, we didn’t exactly know about the Saints upcoming season would go and where to project them. After getting a dedicated Coach after spending last release as the Chargers head man, NT was back home in the Bayou. Winning their first three games and dropping a game to the Packers in week 4 was the start they were looking for. After going 1-1 over their next two games, they then won 7 straight before dropping 3 in a row to close out the season to put a scare into their playoff lives. The would face the Bucs in the wildcard round.
A coach who was thought to be tanking after starting the year off 0-3 and went on a bye week 4. Coming off the bye the Steelers won 4 straight then dropped one to sit at 4-4. Entering week 13, Pittsburgh had a record of 6-5 as they rattled off 3 wins before suffering a big defeat to the Bengals in week 16. Only to be saved by a sim win to the Browns in week 17 to make the playoffs as the AFC North champions and host the Texans.
The Titans were one of the most consistent in M12, after there two wins to start off the year everyone started to wonder what happened. A five game losing streak almost cost the Titans their season but they righted the ship to win seven in a row and win the AFC South taking it away from the Texans which gave them a home game against the Browns in the wildcard round.
A young roster with a A+ coach who knows how to run things in this organization, the Dawgs just couldn’t put it together on a consistent basis for the most part with a few 2 game streaks and their longest was three. The most impressive thing to look at, they didn’t have consecutive losses once this season! A distraction of being overseas might have cost Coach Ry the chance to knock the Steelers out of the playoffs but suffered a sim loss in week 17 and a nice run through the playoffs.
This was a team to watch coming into the year as Pitt had a very good team on paper, the only thing was showing more consistency then what he showed in M12 with the Steelers. The Texans run came in weeks 9 through 12 with four consecutive victories and then closing out the year with two wins and getting in as a playoff team, the only thing negative about getting in, it was at the expense of Arian Foster as he would travel to Pittsburgh but stood in street clothes.
The Bengals had the question mark as in which team would show up for the year, as they were off and on for the majority of the year. They suffered their biggest blow through week 6 to 10 when they lost four straight games, but they turned it around with a four game win streak. They dropped an inexcusable game to the Eagles, which really cost them the playoffs after beating the Steelers the following week. If the year was extended by another week or two, there would have been no doubt the Bengals would have been playoff bound as they were one of the hottest teams to finish off the year.
Coach CA found a renewed fire for Christian Ponder which started up the CP7 for MVP campaign while having Harvin on the outside and AP running down the defense’s throat. After splitting the first two weeks, the Vikings won five straight before dropping two. They would secure a playoff spot as a wildcard team but it came as a nail bitter as they lost their final three games. They traveled to New York to take on the Giants in the wildcard round.
The team and coach who ruffled many feathers with his Gronk promotion, was thought to win the AFC East through 8 weeks of the season as they sat at 6-2. They finished the year 3-5 and would miss the playoffs even though they would beat the Jets twice but split with the Dolphins an drop both games to the Bills. . . Whaaat?
I know this team didn’t make the playoffs but this coach might garner some of the votes for Coach of the Year. Sitting at 5-8 with three weeks to go, the Dolphins won three straight by a margin of +35 points. I believe they will build on the momentum going forward and when they can address some of their needs to fit the scheme, the Dolphins should be able to contend for the East title each year.
Our resident EA worker and one of the finest coaches in the league, if he could give the birds attention they could be a 12 win team. I don’t know how many games he played and or went on AP but when you get a chance to play Frisk, you better bring your A game and strap on the hard hat.
Coach Chaotic had an up and down year with a young team along with the rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck. The Colts played everyone very tough and once this team matures and grows together they will be very dangerous. I believe they will have the explosive offense of the AFC South while the Texans will have the defense and the Titans might be the best all around team and the Jags have some catching up to do.
The Falcons began 6-0 and Coach BK looked like the NFC favorite but quickly faltered and lost their next three coming into week 11 at 6-3. They finished 2-5 and BK made a leave of absence (wish you luck in any situation you go through) and in stepped Cole. Inheriting the team in the offseason, what will Coach Cole do with this team as they have already lost soon to be HOF TE Tony Gonzalez.
Coach Black was another first year Head Coach in HK and it showed through the first 10 weeks as he started 0-9. He quickly figured it out and maybe with a few less beers while playing (10 instead of in the 17-25 range) he turned an abysmal year into a salvageable one with 7 consecutive victories, including some wins over pretty good teams; the Bucs, Chargers, Falcons, Raiders and Saints. Not to mention that he played most of the season with Cam Newton on the injury report, so look out in the following years when Cam is healthy and if Black can repeat his end of the year streak over the course of the year. We might be hearing whispers of MVP turn into chants for Cam, Cam!
A real disappointment for this Coach, we in HK have grown accustomed to the Raiders dominating the AFC West with a potent rushing attack and throwing whenever he wants. Well that wasn’t the recipe for this year and ultimately put Darren McFadden on the trade block. 1-4 entering week 7, the Raiders seemed to find it though as they won four straight but would finish down the stretch 2-5. If their is someone to turn around a team quickly this is the man for the job, I don’t see the Raiders missing the playoffs next year. . . Mark it down!
Get this coach a damn quarterback! A pretty inconsistent year out in the desert but as week 14 rolled around the Cards seemed to have something going as they won three straight and as week 17 came around they had a shot to go 8-8, the only problem was having to face the Niners. The Niners took care of the Cards and dropped them to 7-9. Coach Diddy is another excellent one to have as he will be looking at the right FAs and will do a solid job drafting the guys he needs to make a turnaround next year.
Well this one is a head scratcher. Probably the most consistent coach in M12 and not to mention the leader of HK, started off 0-5 before he recorded his first victory against the Panthers and rattled off four straight. The Cowboys then proceeded to finish 2-5 and wondering what the hell happened to this season. This won’t happen again, look for the Cowboys to be contenders and one of the teams to eye the Super Bowl. This had to be a mirage, had to be, I don’t believe this!
Coach BC (aka Dugs (Dooogs) Duggan) whatever you wanna call the coach, but he made his debut in as head coach in HK this season. The king of asking if he played sim or if this/that is sim, headed into week 14 with a 6-6 record and on the verge of potentially sneaking into the playoffs. That quickly faded as he dropped the final four games to a margin of -101 which would make you a pretender in my book. Looking at the Point differential, if BC can improve on the offensive/defensive sides of the ball only by just a slight margin he could sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard team. My advice, just go out there and ball!
Coach MG had the Chargers in prime position to win many of games this season but for the life of him he could not hold on in several of them. He had seven losses within 7 points or less! The back breaker for this team came week 13 to 16 with 4 straight losses, sitting at 5-10 and won the finale to finish obviously 6-10. In order to have a great year, you have to be good and also have a little luck on your side. The Chargers were very good, solid to say the least but they just didn’t have whatever it takes to push a team over the top.
The year of the redemption for the dream team didn’t do much better in the second year, as the Coach Smooth made his debut holding the reigns to the Eagles. A three and four game losing streak basically took the wind out of the sails in Philadelphia, as they took some beatings but also played tough in several games. Now that Smooth has taken his lumpings, year two might be better in the hated NFC East. I believe he lost Desean Jackson for a good part of the schedule so if he can stay healthy and Vick can get on the same page as him, they might bring some excitement back to the City of Brotherly Love.
Well was it worth all those picks for RGIII to go one better win then last year? The bad, a five game losing streak after a 2-1 start and then a three game losing streak to end the year. The offense put up more the 24 points in six games, so it looks like this is on the defense. I’m willing to bet that Iowa goes after another offensive skill player or two then builds the defense up unless he wants to be the offensive team in a pretty defensive conference with NYG, DAL and PHILLY. Bring back the fun and gun and let those other teams try to outscore you.
The Bears under thirdalarm were pretty surprising and he is another first year head coach in HK. A 4-1 start had them in good shape besides the loss coming against, division foe, the Packers. The magic ran out at the end of the year as he hit a 6 game losing streak to end the campaign. It looks like he needs the offense to stay on the field a little bit longer and not have them gassed while giving up points in a hurry. I am sure he learned a lot and will use the knowledge next year as he competes in a tough division with two playoff teams this year.
What a major letdown for this city, the Lions are suppose to be the the team that helps put Detroit back on the radar. I guess the focus goes back to the Tigers and their run, but I digress. The Lions were able to get to week 8 at 3-4 and then it got ugly fast as they went 0-7 but finished the year with two victories. The rumors and disgruntlement with Stafford keeps getting louder from Wings but if he would only stay with him and cut down on his mistakes this team could be a perennial power!
Another first time head coach in HK debuted this season in Coach Perry, taking over his favorite team one would think from a defensive minded person that the Ravens wouldn’t give up 501 points. While being one of the highest scoring offenses, the defense couldn’t hold their own. A three game losing streak in the beginning hurt this team but they still could make up ground as the North was playing really poorly at the time. As the season wore on and came to a close, the Ravens ended the year with an eight game losing streak. How in the world did that happen and now with receiving word that Ray and Ed have decided to retire, Perry will be forced to replace two HOFs.
PF: 330 PA: 397
The Rams and well known Coach Lawdog struggled this year as he made his debut in HK. St. Louis needs all the help they can get but with the roster like this being -67 with 12 losses is pretty surprising, as they could be a 6-10 to 7-9 ball team. For the future, they need to try and reel in some key offensive pieces and if they decide to stick with Stephen Jackson, the running game must get work along with having the consistency. I don’t believe he will be fooled much in year two, he just needs to get off his legal perch and play some HK hardcore along with breaking out the game genie!
Oh the poor Jags and Coach Hal. An abysmal offense outside of the skills of MJD and now he is gone in a trade to the Dolphins. I don’t really know much of the direction for the Jaguars but they need help probably in the trenches and then getting another WR to help out Blackmon. I mean giving up 401 points and scoring 292 is not good at all. Is it the offense giving the ball to the other team too much, offenses just scoring at will, or is it the offense just plain bad? The losing streaks happened in 2, 4 and 6 game streaks. Looks like the job is to stop the leak from turning into the flood so plug it up or dam it up before Jacksonville loses their team!
Coach Sporty needs all the help he can get but from what I know is that his offensive scheme was pretty good but poorly executed. I know he loves to blame the QB and is thinking about drafting one but man if he can get his reads down and throw some better balls I think that would really help him. The Chiefs seemed to get blown out early and often but towards the second half of the year you saw some real battles from the Chiefs, giving everyone their best shot. In weeks 11 and 12, KC almost upset the red hot Bengals only to fall by one point and losing to the division leading Broncos by 5 the following week. KC receives the first pick in the draft and we believe it will be a QB but Sporty has been telling everyone otherwise, is he being serious or will he take the QB like we all think he will do?