By Josh Lewin
What's the old saying? If "ifs and buts" were candies and nuts- I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts. Or something like that. (What IS the rest of that? Anybody know? Seriously, I've never been able to get that one.)
Anyhow, point is, this 2005 season will be long-remembered -- sometimes fondly and sometimes otherwise -- for the "ifs," "buts" "almosts," "coulda's" and "shoulda's." If the defense had sacked Gus Frerotte late in the game in Week 13- if the special teams had made the block on that field goal try in Philly - if Champ Bailey hadn't jumped the route and picked off Brees in Week 2- if they'd only punched it in on first and goal in the waning seconds of Week 1- yada yada yada.
It's easy, I suppose, to drive yourself bananas over the ifs and buts, knowing that the first 14 games were all there for the taking, yet only nine actually got taken. Forget Kansas City. Those first five losses, much more than this past Saturday, account for the missing playoff voucher and the sickly feeling of watching Jacksonville and Pittsburgh frolic in the wild card meadow instead.</blockquote>