The regular season is over, which means we have come to an end of the power rankings for the 2013 season. The only appropriate way to send this out is our all time favorite thing to do… A quote column! Since I am in the middle of my Friday Night Lights binge fest, I felt that I had to choose quotes for this show. I mean, how could I not? It’s hard to trim it down to ten. Heck, I could use all of Coach Taylor’s quotes for the article, but I will mix it up. Here we go… (Note: All quotes are from Season 1. I didn’t want to spoil the glory of the show for myself)
1. Denver Broncos (13-3) LW (1)
Coach Taylor: “Clear eyes, full hearts.”
Team: “CAN’T LOSE!”
If this isn’t part of Peyton Manning’s pregame speech, I’d be shocked. Eric Taylor, excuse me Coach Taylor, reminds me of an older Peyton Manning with his motivational speeches. With the defense down their leader in Von Miller and Peyton down to maybe his last shot at ring #2, I would expect this to be said in the locker room. Along with, “Texas Forever!” Except, ya know, Denver.
2. Seattle Seahawks (13-3) LW (3)
Smash Williams: “I seen my granddaddy make better blocks playing checkers.”
The past 3 weeks the Seahawks’ offensive line has allowed 12 sacks. They were able to overcome it in 2 of those games, but they may not be so lucky come playoff time. Lucky for them, they have a week off to prepare. I’m sure that will be on the top of Pete Carroll’s list for the week off before they try to make their run to the Super Bowl.
3. San Francisco 49ers (12-4) LW (2)
Julie Taylor: “Dude, you need to chill out, I’m not ESPN.”
Last season at this time, ESPN was anointing Colin Kaepernick the next big thing. He couldn’t be stopped. The 49ers were a lock to get to the NFC title game. Well this season has been a roller coaster for the young QB and Coach Harbaugh just wants to show everyone why he chose him as the starting QB. Ignore the critics and just play football young gun. Playoffs are here and its Kaepernick’s time to shine.
4. Carolina Panthers (12-4) LW (4)
Coach Taylor: “A few will never give up on you. When you go back out on the field, those are the people I want in your minds. Those are the people I want in your hearts.”
Remember week 5? The Panthers sure do. That was when people were calling this a lost season and wanting Riverboat Ron to be fired. Well the Panthers faithful never gave up on Ron and Cam Newton and guess what? They were rewarded. Since then, they have gone 11-1. Yes, 11-1 and have gotten a first round bye. Throughout the playoffs, the Panthers just have to stay focused and remember what got them here. Who knows, that may be the trick to a Super Bowl run.
5. New England Patriots (12-4) LW (5)
Announcer: “Feed the dogs, spit the fire, lock up your daughters. Turn on the radio, sit down, and shut up ’cause it is game time, people!”
I can only imagine this has been uttered by the Patriots play-by-play staff once or twice in their time in the booth. They solidified their spot as the #2 seed in the AFC and are playing the Patriot football we’ve all come to loathe over the years. If Terrific Tom and Coach Belichick can pull it off this year, it may be their greatest performance of all time and we may be hearing this phrase come Super Bowl Sunday.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) LW (6)
Coach Taylor: “Are we not clear that in five days a group of men will be coming down here to destroy you? Is that… is that not clear?”
The Bengals are in and facing off against probably the worst team in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean they should look past this game. We are seeing Phillip Rivers 2.0 and while that may not be the most intimidating thing in the world, it still gives a reason to be concerned. Plus, as seen in week 17, Andy Dalton can implode and throw 4 picks at any time. And in the playoffs, they may not be quite as lucky to get the win.
7. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) LW (8)
Coach Taylor: “When Jason Street went down the first game of the season, everybody wrote us off. Everybody. And yet here we are at the championship game. Forty thousand people out there have also written us off. But there are a few out there who still believe in you.”
The Colts started off the year with high expectations after wins over the 49ers, Seahawks, and Broncos, like your Dillon Panthers. When the team’s Jason Street, Reggie Wayne, went down, things quickly unraveled, until three weeks ago. Now they are back in fine form and looking to make a run. It may not be the championship game, but it sure could be in a month’s time.
8. New Orleans Saints (11-5) LW (10)
Buddy Garrity: “You know what, Eric? I’ll always care about the Panthers. Pam can cut off my head n’ stick it on a pike, but I’ll always care about the Panthers!”
Sean Payton cares about this team more than life itself. He brought them back. Saved them after the hurricane. After all of that, he was suspended for a year. He could have easily gotten out of town and taken over the Cowboys job, but instead he stuck with the team and brought them back to the playoffs. With Brees at the helm of this prolific offense, they are one scary team come playoff time.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) LW (9)
Jason Street: ”I think that if he plays up in Dallas like he played last Friday night, they’re gonna eat him for breakfast.”
Two weeks ago the Chiefs faced off against the Colts and it wasn’t pretty. Andrew Luck torched them and the offense couldn’t get going. If the Chiefs want to pull off the upset and advance, most likely setting up a third showdown against the Broncos, Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith are going to have to step up. It’s their time to shine.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) LW (NR)
Smash Williams: “Coach Mac, I…”
Coach Mac: “They made a mistake, son. Just like me.”
I can imagine this may have been a conversation that Chip Kelly and Riley Cooper had at the beginning of the year. Riley was filmed making derogatory comments and when he came to Coach Kelly, who was under scrutiny for recruiting violations while at Oregon, he forgave him and moved on with the year. What a difference that has made at this team is now united and possibility the hottest team heading into the playoffs. Fear the Eagles.