It's nice to have a draft order set and the Senior Bowl behind us (other all-star games, too, I suppose). The combine is the other big event of the offseason, so we really are halfway to the draft. Sort of.
The premise: Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Patriots open the 2013 season with a blowout win. Unfortunately, they get into trouble for Spygate II. As punishment, Roger Goodell orders the Patriots to fire Bill Belichick and replace him with Emmitt Smith.
This is a weekly feature that will take a newspaper reporter's perspective and follow the 2013-14 New England Patriots as they traverse the 2013 and 2014 NFL seasons under Emmitt's guidance. This page will be updated every Friday during the real 2009 NFL season.
Emmitt Smith name head coach of the New England Patriots on 2014!
PATRIOTS, TEXANS AWAIT WINNERS OF WILD-CARD ROUND
By Alex Rodriguez, Special to the NFL Bible Network Monday, Jan. 8, 2015
The undefeated Patriots and the 14-2 Texans now know whom they'll face in the divisional round of the playoffs. New England will attempt to improve to 17-0 against the sixth-seeded Jets, while Houston has a scary matchup with the Raiders.
Here's a recap of the two AFC wild-card games if you missed them:
Jets 24, Chiefs 7
The Chiefs looked like they were going to pull away early. Armed with Tim Tebow and 52 Tebow clones - thanks to general manager Tom Cruise's superior alien technology - Kansas City scored a touchdown on the opening play of the game.
Tim Tebow was in the shotgun, with Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow and Tim Tebow out wide. Tim Tebow snapped the ball to Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow looked deep for Tim Tebow, who was double covered. He then looked left to Tim Tebow, who couldn't get off the line of scrimmage against Darrelle Revis. Tim Tebow then dumped it off to Tim Tebow, who made two men miss and ran 80 yards for a score, thanks to two great blocks by Tim Tebow and Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.
In the owner's box, Tom Cruise and his alien wife Katie Holmes beamed. That was the last time they would smile all afternoon.
After the score, the 53 Tim Tebows peered into the stands, expecting the home crowd to shower them with approval. Instead, all of the seats were empty.
"We inexplicably suddenly got tired of Tim Tebow," said one fan after the game. "Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow and Tim Tebow are great players, but the novelty only lasts so long, you know?"
"Yeah, that's right!" former Jaguars general manager Gene Smith agreed. "You can win with David Garrard, but you can't win with 53 Tim Tebows! Down with religion and the bible!"
Bill Polian also concurred with the two gentlemen before flying off for Desert World in his airship.
With no one in the stands, Tim Tebow began to cry. Then Tim Tebow cried. And then Tim Tebow cried. After that, Tim Tebow cried. Soon enough, all 53 Tim Tebows were in tears, and refused to enter the game. The Jets went on to score 24 unanswered points.
"I'm so happy right now," Eric Mangini said afterward. "First, we ended the year on a five-game winning streak! Now, I get to go on a date with Erin Andrews this upcoming Friday! I knew she'd say yes eventually!"
We'll have to take Mangini's word on this; though Erin Andrews filed a restraining order against Mangini during his birthday party, the two apparently have plans this upcoming weekend.
"I have our evening all planned out," Mangini said. "First, my mom is going to drive us to the movies. After that, we're going to mini-golf. Then, we can go to 7-11 and buy some snacks, or maybe even McDonald's. Then, my mom will pick us up and we'll go home.
"I just have to make sure that Philip Rivers doesn't see us," Mangini continued. "He's jealous of me because he likes Erin Andrews. But Erin has good taste in men, so she's going out with me, and not that jerk."
Mangini will hope to be as lucky on his date as his team was down the stretch. Sitting at 4-7, the Jets looked like they had no chance to get into the playoffs. However, each of New York's final five opponents rested their starters, allowing the Jets to come away with easy victories.
"We should be the favorites in the playoffs," Mangini said. "I'm going on a date with Erin Andrews on Friday, and then on Sunday, we're going to beat the 16-0 Patriots!"
The Raiders were the visiting fifth seed here, but they certainly weren't the underdogs. Fresh off an 8-week hiatus in which Al Davis asked him to recruit virgins from Eastern Asia, Glandor, the Raiders' 14-foot, 10-inch, 1,750-pound lab experiment who runs a 0.8 40 on a bad day, trampled the Bengals and scored 20 touchdowns in a single game.
Let's rewind for a second. Things weren't promising at the start of the contest when the officials weren't able to perform the coin toss. The game was slated to start at 8 p.m., but was delayed for two hours as the officials searched for their coin.
"I usually keep the coin in my pocket," revealed official Jerome Boger. "Believe me, I wanted this game to begin as quickly a pothible. But the delay gave me a chance to phone in a bet on the Raiders, I mean, umm... it gave other people a chanth to do this. Yeah... other people."
Boger eventually found the coin in Bengals running back Marshawn Lynch's locker, along with other stolen items, including a pack of gum, a $5 tip from Denny's, an iron ore and Bob Costas' toupee. Lynch didn't comment on this, but responded on his blog:
"What's up youngstas. Its been kinda rough dis last month on me. i figured what don't kill me make me stronger. i put my shirt and pants on da same way u do. and it dont stop der ma god brother (Q) quentin thomas point gaurd of UNC gettin ready 4 da NBA hold ya chin up. nuh nuh nuh. gone."
At 10 p.m., Boger finally conducted the coin flip. The Raiders won the toss and elected to receive, but Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis threw out the red flag to challenge the toss.
"It didn't look right to me," Lewis said. "I think Jerome awarded the ball to the incorrect team."
Boger looked at the replay, but didn't see anything wrong. After announcing that the coin toss was confirmed, Lewis threw the challenge flag again.
"I wanted to challenge the challenge, just to make sure," Lewis explained. "You can never be too sure about these things."
A few minutes later, Lewis was out of challenges. Unfortunately for him, Glandor seemed to run out of bounds on at least six of his touchdown runs - which Boger conveniently missed - and Lewis was unable to challenge any of the scores.
In total, Glandor ran for 1,140 yards and 20 touchdowns on Saturday night.
"Glandor is a great player," Al Davis said afterward. "Glandor... runs a great... 40 time... that will soon... be in... negative numbers... and when... this happens... Glandor... will be... unstoppable..."
It's almost scary that Undead Al thinks Glandor can improve even further upon his game. Luckily for the Patriots, they don't have to worry about facing the unstoppable monstrosity in Round 2.
Beating Eric Mangini seems much easier - especially if his date doesn't go well.