Predicting the NFL Playoffs in verse

As I was working through the NFL Playoff bracket in my head and imaging the succession in which each team would go down, I was reminded of an old book I had read: Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. For anyone that hasn’t checked it out, I highly recommend it (it’s also one I should go back and reread because it’s been way too long since my first and only reading of it). Essentially, in the story, a group of culpable individuals—some publicly, some not—are lured to a distant island where they experience retribution for their sins by being mysteriously killed off one by one. There is, however, some method to the madness. Each of the deaths is foretold by the words of a poem where the subjects disappear in very specific ways that are being mirrored on the island. The poem describes each death and then ends that verse with an appropriately modified number (“and then there were nine,” “and then there were eight”), culminating with the book’s title, “And then there were none.”

Pretty morbid, but it fits with the theme of one-by-one elimination that characterizes the NFL Playoffs, so I’m going with it. Since there is actually one team remaining at the end of the postseason—which doesn’t quite work with “And then there were none”—I decided to frame it as a poem describing how each of the threats to my chosen Super Bowl champion get knocked off. So there’s no huge surprise at the end, I’m going with old man Manning and his Denver Broncos.

Eleven NFL teams with a shot to beat DEN
HOU lost at home and then there were ten
Ten NFL teams still in betting lines
PIT couldn’t cover (or win) and then there were nine
Nine NFL teams for pundits to debate
A win eluded MIN and then there were eight
Eight NFL teams from the league’s brethren
Washington stumbled and then there were seven
Seven NFL teams moving the sticks
NE couldn’t block Brady and then there were six
Six NFL teams fighting for their lives
Green Bay left the pack and then there were five
Five NFL teams going to war
Seattle got out-battled and then there were four
Four NFL teams eyeing SB 50
Chiefs’ streak halted and then there were three
Three NFL teams each fit for a zoo
The Panthers were tamed and then there were two
Two NFL teams establishing the run
CIN got run over and then there was one
One NFL team that reached Santa Clara sun
Manning Elway’d ARI and then there were none


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